The explosion in the use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter and even more business aligned Internet sites such as LinkedIn can have serious impacts on job-seekers. Many individuals seeking employment today are likely to have a Facebook profile. This can be an asset or a major liability, depending on how the individual controls the content within the profile.
Jobseekers need to be aware of the fact that their Facebook site and their postings on Twitter are very firmly in the public domain and can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. Job seekers or candidates for employment interviews must be very careful with their Internet profiles. Recruitment agencies and the HR staff at companies where an individual may have undergone an interview, are becoming more inclined to use the Internet as a source for additional information on the candidate before making the final employment decision.
In this environment it is important that job-seekers carefully manage their Internet profiles, are careful about the photographsthey post and the friends they accept into their Facebook site. Wild, party animal photographs will not convey the most positive message to a potential employer. Facebook in particular is becoming more and more accessible, especially with more people owning smartphones that enable them to do mobile Facebook posts and upload photos. In addition, job-seekers can be ‘tagged’ in a photo uploaded by their friends, and this will be visible on the job-seeker’s Facebook profile.
The point is that job-seekers would do well to closely monitor their Internet profiles and ensure that their profile content is always positive and impressive. There is no control over what is posted on Twitter. Freedom of speech is the democratic right of all but job candidates should take care to ensure that their Tweets will not lead to repercussions in terms of their employment endeavours.
Many recruitment agents and potential employers will Google a candidate’s name and see what the Internet reveals about the person they are trying to place or are about to interview. Often the potential employer will conduct such a search on a person they have interviewed just to obtain a different perspective. What is revealed could impact positively or negatively and it’s up to the candidate to ensure the impact is positive.
But the final word for job-seekers still has to be: think before you place information about yourself into the public domain!
Written by Lindi Dickinson (July 2011)