Facebook now has over 200 million members, so chances are you have an account. The site was started as a way to socialize with others over the internet. More and more companies are participating in the site also, using it for advertising and awareness. One area you may not realize they are using it is as a tool to check out prospective employees.
Most of us know what an employer is going to look at. Your resume, your education, your experience, and how you perform during an interview. What few people realize is many employers will take the time to check you out on Facebook, if they are serious about hiring you.
Good business people use all the tools at their disposal. Facebook is now one of those tools. The person thinking about hiring you is taking a risk on you. They will have to pay you a salary, provide you with benefits, maybe even share trade secrets with you. More importantly, you will represent that company. Many times you will be the only representative of the company that clients or customers will meet. The competition for jobs has never been greater, your hiring may actually come down to your Facebook page.
You may not feel this is fair, afterall it’s a social site, what does it have to do with work? The answer is two fold. First, your profile and postings, give your prospective employer a look at the real you, not the one who came for the interview. It can show how well or poorly you write. How you interact with others. What you do in your spare time. Do you criticize your former employer? Who your friends are? Surely you will post thing there you would of never brought up during your job interview.
Another legitimate concern for a prospective employer is they are not the only ones that may check you out on Facebook. Potential customers, clients, and surely coworkers will check out your profile. Revealing photos, lewd talk, racist or sexist comments, not by just you but friends could have an effect on their company. Yes what your friends say is important too, it may come down to guilt by association.
So if you’ve been looking for a job and haven’t been hired or your about to enter the job market, take a good long look at your Facebook. A bad profile, photo, or comments may make the difference between you or someone else getting hired. I guess if you don’t get hired you could just sit around all day on Facebook though.