If you use Facebook or other social media websites, are you wondering if potential employers actually check your personal page? Statistics show that over 50% of employers check applicants’ Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages. If you do not use social media websites appropriately, it can hurt your job search efforts. Many people use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends and it’s important to understand how social networking websites can help or hinder you in your job search.
Hiring managers use social media websites to pre-screen job applicants to see if they present themselves professionally and determine whether the person would be a good fit in the company’s culture. Research has shown that 34% of employers have come across something that caused them not to hire a job candidate, such as lying about their qualifications or visible photos that referenced drinking or drug use.
To be safe, take a look at your Facebook privacy settings and make sure you hide any content that may be harmful to your job search.
Facebook Job Search Tips
Facebook, like any other social media site, gives you the option to share photos of yourself. While it is a good idea to include a professional picture of yourself, make sure you do not share any personal pictures that you would not want a recruiter to see. Be careful of pictures you are “tagged” in. If there are any inappropriate photos of yourself on Facebook, make sure they are not visible on your page or ask the uploader to remove the pictures.
If you already have a Facebook account, think hard about using your personal page as part of your job search strategies. Consider creating a separate page that is focused solely on your professional experience. This will help you separate your personal from your professional life. Make sure that any information you choose to share coveys the image you want employers to see by keeping it as organized and professional as possible.
Another reason why it is important to have a Facebook page specifically focused on your profession is that it keeps your professional and personal contacts separate. For example, you wouldn’t want your college friends to post inappropriate pictures or comments on your professional page.
Lastly, even if your account settings are private, if you comment on a post that is public, your comments can be seen. So make sure you do not make any inappropriate comments!