Another popular topic for job seekers is the role of social networking in the hiring process. As sites like Facebook have expanded into an unwieldy beast that no one could have predicted, job seekers of all ages have profiles that they might not want their future employers to see. Now that this is common knowledge and the first wave of social networking users have moved from school to work, we thought it’d be interesting to ask our CBCampus ambassadors for their thoughts on employers using these sites to check out candidates. First up are Natalie and Andrew who have seemingly different points of view, although their conclusions are similar. Here are Natalie’s thoughts:
Facebook and so many other social networking sites make every not-too-careful member an easy target of interest for hiring managers. As a senior at Ohio State, I’ve been to countless resume, cover letter, and interviewing workshops. Topics for discussion at most of them have included at least a small mention of being careful what information you’re sharing on these websites, becomes employers are looking. And you know what I think about that?
In a job market like this, when recruiters spend ten seconds tops reviewing a resume before pushing it to the side, and jobs are hard to come by – I say let them look! I hope two or three people I’m competing against are half-naked doing a ten story beer bong in their profile pictures. While that would actually be quite impressive, I doubt a hiring manager would call that person in for a second interview…
…As a 21-year-old, I don’t think it’s a big deal if there is a picture of me having a beer with my friends on the internet. I like to go out and have fun, but I’m a responsible person and my facebook profile doesn’t show otherwise. If my resume only gets ten seconds, but my facebook profile gets two full minutes – that’s more time to sell myself.
I don’t think any of us should complain about hiring managers finding us on facebook. In an economy like this, we need to work with what we’re given. If that’s time to sell ourselves on a social networking site, go for it!
When I was in my sophomore year college, my brother-in-law mentioned to me that businesses were using social networking sites to research applicants. He had given a presentation on the subject earlier that week and had used me as a reference of what not to have on your personal profile.
I was shocked because I have never displayed personal information on my profile. Then I realized, it wasn’t the content of my profile but rather the pictures I had been tagged in. As I browsed through my pictures, I saw how many I wouldn’t want my parents to see, let alone a potential employer.
How unfair is it that Facebook users used to have to be in college, but now anyone can sign up. I had previously believed that I was in a safe bubble where no one outside of my college friends would see my pictures. Now, I hear of business managers creating fake profiles to gain insight into whom you portray yourself as. When I learned that, I immediately untagged about half of my pictures…
…What I have learned is that you can use your online profiles to your advantage. Managers are looking for specific elements of your profile to find out what kind of person you are beyond your résumé.
Here are my suggestions:
- Remove all pictures of yourself partying too hard.
- Be honest, but try to portray yourself as a professional.
- Be aware that companies browse through your friends.
- Don’t badmouth your current or past employers.
If you follow these simple rules, you can create a profile that will fit into any company’s culture.