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Be careful what you post on the Internet, because a possible job employer is snooping around

At least one in five hiring managers hit the internet and looks at social networking websites to help research possible job candidates.   

Online job site completed a survey of 3,169 hiring managers, with 22 percent of them saying they check on Facebook and MySpace when looking into job candidates.  Just two years ago, however, only 11 percent of employees looked at social networking sites before making a decision.

More than one-third (34 percent) of hiring managers dismissed possible candidates because of what they found on their profiles.  About nine percent who do not look on the web sites plan to beginning do so in the future.

  • 41 percent of candidates spoke of drinking and/or drug use
  • 40 percent posted provocative images or information
  • 29 percent had poor communication skills
  • 28 percent spoke badly about previous employers
  • 27 percent lied about their job qualifications
  • 22 percent posted offensive statements about race, gender, religion, etc.
  • 22 percent used an unprofessional screen name
  • 21 percent were linked to criminal behavior
  • 19 percent shared confidential information from previous employers

Job employers are becoming increasingly concerned about photos, video and written information of young people and their encounters with alcohol and recreational drugs.

But while what they find on the internet can disqualify candidates, looking on Facebook or MySpace also can help determine if a candidate is qualified for the job.

  • 48 percent of candidates had a background to help them acquire the job
  • 43 percent had good communication skills
  • 40 percent were a good fit for the company
  • 36 percent had a site portraying professionalism
  •  31 percent had references posted by others
  • 30 percent showed wide range of interests
  • 29 percent received either academic or professional awards
  • 24 percent of had creative or clever profiles

A general rule of thumb -- which obviously has been easily forgotten -- is that if you have anything you don't want publicly viewed, it should be published in "Friend's Only" mode on social networking sites.

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I understand why
By Maethor on 9/16/2008 9:39:19 AM , Rating: 2
I understand why they do it honestly. You kinda have to put yourself in their shoes these guys doing the hiring often have 10-20 applications or more for a job position and maybe only 1 or two positions. Honestly when you have so many people with nearly equal qualifications and you only see them in a quick interview it does not really give a person much to base a hiring decision off of. Looking at a facebook and the like can tell them if a person lied on their application and just the general type a person they are much more than a 5 minute interview which the person has probably rehearsed for.

Honestly, anyone who has an unprofessional looking facebook or myspace and is applying for a professional job should make it private because companies understand that their employees reflect on them.

RE: I understand why
By BadAcid on 9/16/2008 12:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
It's a shortcut and gives inaccurate representation to how an employee will perform both in the job and in his/her free time given that he/she now has a job. If anything, the HR people using this as a means to judge hiring need to be fired for using poor strategy and being lazy. They're supposed to be working, too. They represent the company, too.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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