Why a picture could cost you a job
Filed under: Career
So what does this mean for you?
The studyThe Study, by the Florida International University in North Miami, and reported in the Daily Mail found that not only do employers use Facebook to keep an eye on their employees, but also to check the profiles of those who are applying for jobs.
This ties in with the findings of US recruitment organisation, Reppler, which found that 91% of companies in a recent survey had used social networking sites to screen candidates. Some 76% of them used Facebook, 53% Twitter and 49% LinkedIn. Shockingly a massive 69% of them said they had rejected a candidate because of something they found on these profiles.
Digging deeperIn the US there is actually an agency, Social Intelligence, which scrapes the internet for anything you have said or done online in the past seven years. So whether it's a dodgy holiday snap, or a late night discussion on horror films, your future employers would get to know about it.
So what should you consider?There are several risks for anyone who regularly uses the social networking site. Social Intelligence says that by far the most common things to catch people out are photographs or videos. It's essential, therefore, to consider carefully before uploading a picture, or when someone tags you in one.
You also need to consider your comments. The Reppler survey said that 11% of rejected candidates had been cast out because they had posted inappropriate comments, 9% because they had posted comments about them drinking, 11% because they had posted negative comments about a previous employer, 11% because they had demonstrated poor communication skills, 10% because they had made discriminatory comments and 7% because they had shared confidential information from a previous employer.
It is vital, therefore, to consider everything you say online. David Woods, deputy editor of HR magazine says: "People sometimes don't pay enough attention to their privacy settings, but it's important to protect your profile with the right settings. If you have any pictures or comments you would rather a potential employer didn't see, then make sure these are things only your friends can see."
According to Reppler, they are more likely to check these things early in the process, so that you do not get an opportunity to make a first impression: your profile will do that for you. It means that it's vital you sort your online profiles out before you start applying for jobs.
Not all badOn the plus side, the same Reppler survey showed that 68% had hired someone because of the positive impression they gave on their social networking profiles. The most common positives were the 39% who gave a positive impression of their personality, the 36% who showed they were creative, and 33% who showed they were well-rounded.
Woods adds: "If people are using social networks to find a job they could 'like' an organisation and comment on the forum so a potential employer can see they are engaged with the brand."
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