Print 36 comment(s) - last by typo101.. on Sep 19 at 3:35 PM

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: Is it legal to turn someone down?
By ZmaxDP on 9/16/2008 7:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
On what grounds? Discriminating against stupidity is perfectly legal, and (to date) has never made it to trial that I know of. The items you list are considered protected, I don't see "intelligence" in that list, do you?

RE: Is it legal to turn someone down?
By MScrip on 9/16/2008 11:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "Discriminating against stupidity is perfectly legal."

Really? Let's take Facebook out of the equation. What if someone in the HR department of the hiring company heard from someone who heard from someone that the potential employee blah blah blah. Is it OK not to hire someone then?

I agree that you shouldn't post information that you don't want publicly viewed... but any kind of discrimination shouldn't be allowed in the hiring process.

By typo101 on 9/19/2008 3:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
any kind of discrimination shouldn't be allowed in the hiring process

If you follow that statement to its logical conclusion, the hiring process is completely pointless and you might as well be handed whatever job you apply for. They have to discriminate on some criteria, just avoid the ones that have no correlation to the job they would be doing (i.e. sexual preference at a software development company).

That being said, I really don't strive to be "professional" in my personal life and my facebook profile will reflect that. That should not be used as a meter for my professionalism in a business context.

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