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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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RE: What does this tell us...
By aos007 on 9/16/2008 12:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that particular example (screen name) does a lot to highlight how ridiculous are these things getting. Next thing will be to deny employment to anyone found claiming to play, say Rock Band or Guitar Hero or going to any rock concerts. Those activities involve posturing and jumping, driving into frenzy and behaving like crazy, not to mention the terrible music choice which is linked to a lot of immoral behaviour such as drinking, drugs and sex. I listen to classical and jazz so if I were a hiring manager I'd be inclined to not hire anyone who seems like a crazy sort and listens to "music" of people who use yell, scream, "sing" off key, use excessive makeup and dress like transvestites. Rock music is "unprofessional" and should not be tolerated at "serious" "corporations".

How's that different from using someone's "unprofessional" screen name to disqualify them from a job?

I'm not talking about finding the candidates use illegal substances or lie about their background. It's obvious from the survey that these are just used as excuses to apply COMPLETELY ARBITRARY screening on the discretion of the hiring "manager". Just like the rest of the society is going down the drain because a legitimate concern is used to hide someone's real agenda.

RE: What does this tell us...
By ZmaxDP on 9/16/2008 7:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
If your "unprofessional screen name" is say, Calvn_Swing then yeah, that's pretty dumb. Especially if you're in the construction industry and the only place you use that SN is on a tech site.

If, on the other hand, your SN is "*ucktheowners" and you're posting on an industry related site like say the AGC's forums (and have your company information listed underneath it) then I'm sorry, you're asking for it.

You're assuming these companies did something brainless like the first situation and not realizing that in some cases there can be a legitimate reason for someone's PUBLIC online identity to misrepresent the employees company negatively.

Once again, it is public, and it is meant for networking. Take that into consideration before you post. If it is only for your friends, then restrict it to just your friends and make the point moot. Or, make a professional one too! In other words, think before you post... (hmmm, that's a good rule of thumb for other communication mediums too...)

RE: What does this tell us...
By ZmaxDP on 9/16/2008 7:09:18 PM , Rating: 2
Hehe, I can't even keep track of my own screen names. I'm ZmaxDP on this site. Now that is classic. Perhaps I should take my own advice about thinking before posting...

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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