Job Hunting: Your Facebook Page is Your New Reference

The personal reference for a job is a key part of the hiring process, and more than once, when I have been involved in hiring someone, we have checked the persons references, only to find out that the reference:

  • Doesn’t know the person used them as a reference, and thus doesn’t really have much to say about them.
  • Doesn’t know the person used them as a reference, is annoyed and thus gives a bad reference
  • The person doesn’t even remember the person

The importance of a solid personal and job reference is the cornerstone of any job application, however, what is now supplanting the reference as the major impediment for folks who are qualified getting hired, is your Social Network Page(s).

If you enjoy Social Network sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, MySpace or whatever, remember that whatever you put there, future employers are going to see it as well. Many folks think that if you set the privacy capabilities of these sites to a strong setting, outside folks are not going to see it, but I can assure you that anything you put on a Social Media site will be visible to folks who want to see it.

What kind of silliness have I heard of causing folks to not get a job?

  • Having a Twitter account and “bad mouthing” former employers (or current employers), on the site. If I am going to hire you and I see that, my first thought is, “What are they going to say about our company?”.
  • Pictures of you at a party “having a good time” (let’s leave it at that), as a future employer, do I start to wonder whether you are a reliable employee, or a party animal?
  • “Other pictures” (no more need be said), seriously folks, when did posting pictures of yourself in your underwear or less, become a normal thing? An employer sees that and says (out loud), “Indiscrete employees, if they post this, why should I trust them to keep any company secrets”. Remember if you are “tagged” in a Facebook picture, even if it is not yours, you are in trouble.

These are just a couple of the interesting ways you can thwart your job applications.

Reputation well Summed Up from the Delaware Employment Law Blog

How do I find out what others can find out about me?

  • Google your name and see what others can see (without even looking very hard).
  • Comb through your social media sites and see what is there (and look with a future employers point of view)

If you have some bad stuff out there, get rid of it as best you can, and hope no one has kept copies.

Any other areas I might have missed on this, dear reader?

{ 3 comments }

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Erin April 20, 2012, 1:56 PM

    I think posting something online and expecting it to be “private” is kind of a silly concept. Of course it won’t be private, you just posted it on the “world wide web”!

    Thank goodness I don’t get up to very much mischief, online or otherwise. If any future employer checks out my Facebook, at worst they’ll think I’m just too boring for the job!

    Reply
  • eemusings April 17, 2012, 6:08 AM

    I Google myself pretty often (does it sound less narcissistic if I mention I work in media?)

    Honestly, people simply need to assume everything they put out online is totally public. There should be no need in this day and age, years after social media hit the big time, to remind anyone of this.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman April 17, 2012, 6:51 AM

      We shouldn’t have to, yet I still find excellent examples every day, of how NOT to do things on line.

      Reply

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