Facebook. It’s great, isn’t it?! A way to share those HILARIOUS pictures of your nights out at Casino Rooms, The Venue, and some random place you can’t even remember… I’m just relieved that my parents haven’t ventured to the world of Facebook yet, I could have some explaining to do! But the bad news is, there are a LOT of employers who do know how to use Facebook, and they probably won’t be too impressed with some of the antics they might see on your profile.
Last year, CareerBuilders did a survey that found that 37% of employers check social networking sites as part of their recruitment process, with a further 11% saying that they were considering bringing it in. Of those who did check out candidates on sites like Facebook, about a third of them had chosen not to employ someone because of what they’d seen. So this is a real issue. Facebook can really affect your employment prospects.
Even when you have found employment, the number of people who are sacked because of something they’ve put on Facebook is increasing at quite a rate. You only need to put ‘sacked b’ into Google and it guesses ‘sacked because of Facebook’! (Worth doing by the way. Brilliant stories).
However, it’s not all bad news. There are ways you can combat this. An easy way is to quite simply hide! Change your privacy settings, make sure your ‘friends’ are actual friends, and keep any dodgy stuff away from prying eyes. Or go one step further, and give yourself a professional image. In the CareerBuilders survey, 58% of those recruiters who do check social media sites said that they got a good feel for the candidate’s personality. Other sites such as LinkedIn can also really help you to promote your skills and experience online, so it’s worth getting a presence there too.
So when you’re feeling ready to start applying for that all-important job, make sure your social networking sites are ready too!