As many people indulge in social networking activities, they might have lost the sight of the risk of losing their existing job or a potential one. When used inappropriately, social networking sites can cost you your job.
More and more employers are now hitting Google and social networking sites to learn more about job candidates to ensure that the candidates are a match and that they will not damage the reputation of the hiring companies. The employers now review social networking site profiles prior to making a hiring decision. The information they see on these profiles will influence what they think about the job candidate, and more importantly, who gets hired and who doesn't. In our interviewing process, we do see a few potential candidates especially those fresh out of colleges who were denied a job simply because of what was inappropriately said or revealed in their Facebooks, such as discriminatory languages, incriminating photos of drinking and partying in college and their nasty political opinion; though some of their remarks might sound innocuous at the time but they can be damaging when taken of context. What do you think the firm would do to protect its reputation? Disassociate itself with them, right? Employees have been fired when they were found to share confidential company information, make inappropriate comments about the company, or any comment related to their company whatsoever.
Also, adding your coworker to your social networking site could act against you as information you shared is likely to be leaked back to your employer. Be careful of posting information in your social networking sites during work hours when you should be working but lied to be absent from your work, as it can be traced and cost you your job. In addition, talking about your job search, badmouthing your current employer could get your job offers rescinded, get yourself reprimanded at work and even fired.
Is this a violation of your privacy when employers look into your social networking profile to make the hiring decision? No, since you are the ones who control what information is posted and who is able to view in your social networking sites, the responsibility lies in you to maintain your own privacy.
Be careful in giving out your full name or excessive details online. If you still want to keep a social networking account, just remember to delete anything that is incriminating from your profile or something that you don’t want your prospective employer to know. Also watch out who you add as friends as you may run the risk of a disparaging photo on someone else’s webpage. By the way, you may want to use a different email address from the one you gave to your employer to set up your social networking account. This will reduce your employer’s or your colleagues’ chance of finding your profile. Keep in mind that if you don't want the world to read about what you posted, make sure that your blog is not searchable, and limit who can read your blog. To err on the safe side, do not blog on anything that can get you fired.
Written by Elisa English
On March 25th, 2012