Social networks and job prospecting

If, by now, we discussed social networks mostly from a business point of view (social media), today we will discuss another side of social networking: personal use and the impact it can have when you go job-searching.

Let’s take, for instance, Facebook. Launched in 2004, the website reached a billion users by 2012. A tremendous amount of these users are not aware of the enormous volume of personal information they have benevolently submitted. And the worst thing is… the internet never forgets anything! No matter how many privacy settings you manage, it only takes a website update or a small distraction and everybody can see what you thought you have shared with your close friends.

According to a recent study, more than 10% of the questioned employers have admitted browsing the candidates’ personal profiles to reveal additional information that was not revealed in their CV or during the face-to-face interviews.

But what are the employers trying to find there? Well, a complex social profile provides strong indicators of the candidate’s personality, the intelligence level or, in some cases, the lack thereof. More than half of the 10% employers who browsed the candidates’ social profiles admitted they rejected applicants based on their online findings.

What kind of social content could cause a refusal for a job sought? Inappropriate pictures, alcohol or illegal substances mentions or pictures, racism, bad behaviour, aggression etc.

Social networks are fairly new though, their history being no longer than 10 years. As we said earlier, the internet never forgets, so we can’t help but wonder how will the profiles of today’s teenagers who are avid users look like 10 years from now? Do they realise that each and every picture they post today can backfire 10 or 20 years from now?

Here are some tips for applicants:

– Avoid TMI (Too much information). Nobody wants to know every little detail of your life and activities.

– Better safe than sorry. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see.

– Remove your friends’ rude comments and untag yourself from unflattering pictures.

– Check your privacy settings.

You have a brand, take good care of it!