Do you want employers to read your Facebook?

Your Facebook profile may be much more interesting to people than you think.

A report by Helen Gilbert in Personnel Today (January 29th) reveals 41% of HR managers in the UK  have rejected a job applicant due to their online profile.  Recruitment agencies are also looking at social network profiles as part of their standard background checks (click here to view the full article).

In addition, a  recent survey of graduates by recruitment website milkround.com shows that Facebook is by far the most popular social networking site, with 98% of students and graduates having a Facebook profile.  18% of those use Facebook for both socialising and job hunting; a risky strategy that may be embarrassing if potential employers access photos of drunken high japes!

Only 17% of graduates and students instead use the professional website LinkedIn for job hunting and 3% of all students and graduates surveyed say they have two Facebook profiles, one for job hunting and one for socialising.

With Facebook’s recent controversial changes to privacy, many users may now have public profiles without realising it. This means that anyone (current and prospective employers included) can access your photos, personal information and message walls. It is worth checking your privacy settings if there is anything on your profile you perhaps would not want an employer to see! Go to “Settings” (at the top of the page), then “Privacy Settings”, and then “Profile Information” and adjust accordingly.

And, if you do add your boss as a friend on Facebook, then just watch what you say. Last year a female worker was sacked after ranting in her status update:

“OMG I HATE MY JOB!!! ” and continuing on to slate her boss.

Her boss, whom she had forgotten she had added as a friend, replied just a few hours later “…I’ll pop your P45 in the post and you can come in whenever you like to pick up any stuff you’ve left here. And yes, I’m serious”.

Oops! So, be careful!

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