08 September, 2011

Employers Now Screening Your Facebook Profile !

Are you job seeking at the moment? Your Facebook profile may just affect your prospect of being hired or not, hence you better start watching what you are posting or sharing around on social media !Statistics reveal that there are more than 750 Million Facebook users at present and 70 % of this users are outside the USA. 50% of the users log in to facebook on a daily basis and what they do inside their Facebook account will now affect their future career prospects.

It is true that use of social media screening is not yet big in Sub Saharan Africa but that does not mean 'its not in use'.While the statistics in this article focus on Facebook screening by employers in the USA the reality is that due to popularity of use, employers outside the USA are finding this form of screening more reliable as it is a credible picture of the personality of a user over a period of time which is not very easy to derive from a face to face interview that lasts a few minutes or hours or as may be demonstrated by academic qualifications.
 Career Builder.Com did a survey on Facebook/Social Media Screening in America in 2009 and the results are astounding.Their survey revealed that social media screening of potential employees by employers increased from 22% in 2008 to 45% -that is an exponential increase.According to the survey what are employers looking at from your profile :

  • Whether profile provided a good feel for the candidate's personality and fit within the organization -- 50 percent
  • whether profile supported candidate's professional qualifications -- 39 percent
  • Candidate was creative -- 38 percent
  • Candidate showed solid communication skills -- 35 percent
  • Candidate was well-rounded -- 33 percent
  • Other people posted good references about the candidate -- 19 percent
  • Candidate received awards and accolades -- 15 percent 
Negative Attributes from profile that affected employees employability are :
  • Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information 
  • Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs
  • Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients 
  • Candidate showed poor communication skills
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments
  • Candidate lied about qualifications 
  • Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer
In essence the survey reveals that your online habits matter.If you are on facebook those you befriend online also matter.You may just need to sift through their profile photos as it is a ready picture of your kind of social networks and perhaps behaviour.

Crude and provocative behaviour online is not private or just a virtual affair anymore it affects your reputation, business prospects and employability in the real World. With this kind of revelations i guess its time users started watching what they post!

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