July 8, 2013

Could your Facebook Profile be Keeping you From Landing a Job?

young man shocked with something he sees on his laptopWe’re living in a day and age where social media is becoming an increasingly large part of our daily lives. This is especially the case when it comes to such an important and widely used site, such as Facebook. Your Facebook image honestly says a lot about you to those who haven’t yet gotten to know youand not just when it comes to your social value.

Your image on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and any of the other major social networks could actually make or break you when it comes to landing one of the coveted jobs you so badly need. Let’s take a closer look at how your Facebook profile could be keeping you from getting hired and what you can do about it.

A Window into your Personal Life

Even though Facebook has been around awhile, it’s sometimes shocking how many people really haven’t caught on to the fact that having a profile there is the equivalent of letting anyone who’s interested see into your personal life – including potential employers.

In the past, it was enough to simply lock down your profile and make sure that nothing overly personal or iffy was exposed to the general public. However, this is no longer good enough. Many employers are now demanding temporary access to your personal Facebook account in order to better judge your character before hiring; so, don’t count on your privacy settings to protect you from every possible pitfall.

You Are Who you Hang With

Unfortunately, it’s not just your profile pictures, your status updates, or the silly memes you choose to share with your friends that can give potential employers the wrong impression. Many would-be employers also believe that looking at who your friends are can be an important clue as to your value system and identity as a person.

If you hang out with a group full of potheads on the weekend or with a lot of people who don’t seem to be career-minded and level-headed, it could actually hurt your chances of being seriously considered for the right jobs.

Put your Best Facebook Forward

The days where your Facebook profile was a private place for you and your friends to let it all hang out and be yourselves are over. Facebook and other social media sites like it are now considered to be serious extensions of your overall private life more than anything else.

That said, it’s safe to think of it as the equivalent of hanging out with your buddies in any other public place. If you wouldn’t do it or say it in a public place where it’s at least possible you might run into someone from work, then don’t do it or say it on Facebook either. It could come back to bite you in the rear at exactly the wrong time and no one searching for a new job (and/or quality work) in this day and age can afford that.

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Marie is a writer for Recruiter.com covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.