Facebook is Endangering Careers
Facebook now has over 400 million active viewers and is indisputably the most popular website for social networking. While Facebook is mostly used for personal purposes, professional usage of the website is becoming increasingly more popular.
Marketing companies report that Facebook has become an extremely valuable tool for college students to reach out to recent alumni to aid in their post-graduation job hunt.
Along with rebuilding connections, surveys report that around 30% of employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees, even preferring checking out an applicant’s Facebook account as opposed to looking up their LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a standard professional social networking site. Unfortunately, college students are not realizing how their Facebook pages could cost them potential interviews.
Below are popular Facebook mistakes and ways to avoid them.
Inappropriate pictures: While one would assume most students are aware that their future bosses would not be thrilled to know they dance on bars, shot gun beers while tailgating and get sloshed on spring break, most still leave their photo albums completely available to “friends of friends” or “everyone.” Even more students don’t know that while their pictures may be private, the albums their friends tag them in are not, subjecting them to public scrutiny.
Status updates and wall posts complaining about one’s job: Many employees vent on Facebook about their jobs, employers, co-workers, long working hours, working conditions, poor benefit packages, etc. via their status or onto a friend’s wall. While innocent complaining may make them feel better when friends comment that they sympathize, their bosses are not too happy when a co-worker simply copies and pastes the post into an email and files a formal complaint.
Even if the employee is not “friends on Facebook” with their boss or co-workers, they never know who might be or if their posts will show up in search engine website results.
Conflicts from student’s Facebook profiles with their resumes: While most students don’t lie on their resumes, many often exaggerate their positions and responsibilities when applying, but then have their actual positions and responsibilities on the profile page. In extreme cases, applicants have even been caught lying about the schools they attended based on what was on their Facebook profiles.
Statuses that show employees are not actually working, or lied about being sick: Employees have been fired for putting on their Facebook statuses simple posts that say “Getting wasted tonight, looks like it will be a sick day tomorrow!” or “Who can work on a day like this, going to the beach instead of the boardroom!”.
Not taking advantage of available security settings: Facebook has made a dedicated effort to provide options for protecting users’ privacy. Users may customize lists of friends to differentiate which group or list can see which part of their profiles. Unfortunately, many students do not make the effort to completely understand the ever-changing privacy settings, or do not even bother to check which list has access to what.
Friends do let friends get fired: Sometimes friends post inappropriate comments to a profile wall and although it can be removed sometimes it has been online long enough for the damage to have been done. Along with closely monitoring their own walls for those inappropriate posts, students and employees should be cautious that they cannot control what their friends post to their own profile pages or to those of mutual friends.
The best defense is to lock down your personal profile so that only approved and trusted friends can see your profile. Having a social networking profile can be a good thing as it presents you has having as technological savvy.
But as a general rule of thumb, just be careful what you post.
- Facebook Profiles Hindering College Application Acceptance
- Facebook Users’ Grades Worse than Non-Users