Facebook and the Job Search
As of 2012, there are 800 Million facebook users. That is a pretty substantial part of the population, and often because of facebook, there are no secrets online. Even if you delete something, nothing ever really disappears on the internet.
Did you know that some employers will ask for your facebook profile URL? This gives them a chance to see who they are really hiring, since anyone can look good on paper. Even something as simple as an URL address can tell you a lot about a person. What do you think an employer thinks when the look at the URL …com/SmExYCHICA or .com/2HOT4U? Something as small as your URL address can make the difference between having an income, and not.
While some people call this stalking and an invasion of privacy, employers can claim that they are protecting themselves. By looking at a candidates profile page, they can usually make a sounds decision on whether or not a person will be a good employee. It costs a lot of money to hire and train a new employee, and by checking all possible sources, employers can increase the chance that they are making a good investment.
This is when we, the facebook generation, need to stop and think about what we are posting on online. How do we present ourselves to the world? While party shots and posed mirror pictures may impress your crush or get you lots of “likes,” Employers probably aren’t going to be impressed. Colleges and Universities won’t be impressed either, and while there is no proof that these institutions look at applicant’s facebook pictures, the chance is there.
It used to be, you applied for a job and the company would have a background check run. Now, companies can do those themselves. Just think, if you where a hiring manager and, when searching a candidate’s name, the first thing that pops up is of someone half-naked, gazing unsteadily into the camera or posing behind a “no trespassing sign.”
In these uncertain times, it is only fair to give yourself the best possible chance at getting a job. Because of limited resources and a large pool of potential employees, those hiring can be especially selective with whom they choose to hire. Therefore, it is up to you as an individual to present yourself if the most positive of lights at all times, since the smallest thing can give you an edge over other potential employees.
A few tips for your Facebook profile while searching for a job:
- No red cups: Red cups are the notorious sign of alcohol consumption. This mostly applies to students who are underage. If an employer knows you are of age, they are not going to care if you drink, but blatant acts of law breaking never go over well.
- Before you post a status, think twice: Ask yourself, is this necessary to post? At places of employment, there are “feeders” or “informers,” those who befriend people the organization then report to the boss when they feel something of concern arises.
- Do not “friend” your boss, or teacher. Work relationships are exactly that, work. They should stay there. By befriending your boss, you are leaping over the authority/ employee boundary line. Bosses do not need to know every intimate detail of your life.
- Talk to your friends: real friends will honor your wishes and not post pictures of you that you do not wish posted. Remember those pictures of that party last week? If those go viral, they are probably never coming down. While you can “un-tag” yourself in pictures, those pictures will still be online and available for all to see. Remember also that internet security isn’t the best, so they will not stay a secret.