Looking for a job? Hoping to keep your current one? You might want to check your Facebook timeline first. It seems in the age of social media, your Facebook postings and Twitter activity could be your undoing.
Now I totally understand how berating your boss on Facebook might get you a one way ticket to the unemployment line. Take, for instance, the worker who complained that her boss was a “total pervvy wanker” who always made her do stuff “to just piss me off!” The first comment below her rant was that of her boss featuring a critical analysis of her job performance along with the notification that she was fired.
But should the university professor have been put on probation for writing in jest on Facebook, “had a good day today, DIDN’T want to kill even one student. Now Friday was a different story.”
It seems our social media commentaries are coming under increasing scrutiny from those that provide our paychecks. In fact, nearly eight percent of companies have fired someone for their social media conduct.
Yet, Facebook may be even more crucial for those seeking work. Here’s the simple truth, with job seekers at historic highs, employers are looking for any excuse to whittle down the mounds of applications they receive.
A Reppler / Lab42 study found that 91% of employers use some sort of social media check to screen prospective applicants. The most frequently used sources were Facebook (used by 76% of employers) and Twitter (used by 53% of employers).
Understandably, you can’t blame an employer for trying to find out as much about a person as possible before hiring them. In many cases, social media allows the hiring manager to see the “real” person behind the resume.
But how much weight will they put on the indiscreet photo taken in college or the ill-advised or off-color post? Sixty-nine percent of employers said they had rejected candidates based on information found on social media. Who knows the exact social media faux pas these candidates committed?
The obvious answer for some would be to set sufficient privacy settings, but employers have been known to use less than scrupulous measures to get around these. And in many instances they are downright demanding access to your social media accounts.
In Maryland, for instance, a man was asked to hand over his Facebook password during a job interview with the Maryland Department of Corrections.
It may be time to realize that Facebook, Twitter, and the like are not intimate discussions with friends and like-minded acquaintances, but semi-public forums where our actions can be displayed for all to see, future and current employers included.
The best word of caution, if it’s not something you’d say or do in public, then it’s probably not something you’d want to share on Facebook or Twitter.
BMWK, what’s your take? Are people too cavalier with the information they share on Facebook and Twitter? Should employers have the right to ask to see your Facebook profile?