An astonishing 37% of hiring managers are using social networking sites to research applicants, with over 65% of the group using Facebook as their primary source.
The days of doing a routine background check using CRB Direct on your criminal past or even credit history have been widened to include voyeurism into your daily life and lifestyle. People complain that it’s wrong; they say it’s an invasion of their privacy. Right, wrong, invasive not invasive – companies are doing it. I’m not talking about companies who ask you to supply your username and password and so they can look at your profile. I am talking about them going out on the internet and viewing whatever information you have made available to millions of others to see.
Remember the saying “whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”? Well that isn’t the case when you share the ins-and-outs of your life via social media for the world to see.
Knowing that any future employer may be looking at what you have posted on the internet, why not use a little common sense, a little bit of good judgment, in what you share? Why not share things that are near and dear to you and that would be worth not getting a job over?
Example: my faith is important to me. I would gladly miss out on an opportunity to work for a company who didn’t like something I posted about my religious beliefs. That company would probably not be a good fit for me and I would most likely not be happy working there.
That belly button piercing I got on the way to the Bon Jovi concert with friends – not important to me, not near and dear to my heart – maybe I don’t need to share that sordid tale accompanied by an even more sordid picture on Facebook.
People are rethinking what they have posted; almost 90% of internet users admit to changing information in their profiles to become more suitable to outside employers and friends. This is probably smart thinking considering 69% of recruiters said they’d rejected a potential employee because of what they saw on a social networking site. I know lot of you out there will disagree but, to me, once you put your “private” life on the internet, it’s not private anymore.
And the kicker: you are opting-in to all of this. Nobody is extracting information from you.
The smart applicant thinks about how to use social media sites. Like an unfortunate tatoo, social media indiscrimination can have long-ranging consequences.