Is Facebook Stopping you From Securing That Great Role

facebookThe job market has been fiercely competitive for some time, making background and reference checks common tools utilised by most companies. Yet applicants today have to worry about a whole new level of personal investigations that never existed 10 years ago though. With the explosion of social media, many hiring managers turn to the internet before even making a decision on which applicants to grant interviews to. So if your Facebook page is littered with photos of you partying alongside your uni friends and your security settings aren’t personalised to protect you from prying eyes, you could be harming yourself in the job search.

Know Who Your Friends Are

Embarking upon finding a new job is the perfect time to analyze your friends list. If you are Facebook friends with people you have ever met (and everyone they know) over the last 10 years, it might be time to consider reducing the number of people you consider “friends”. Remember that unless you have set up special filters, everyone on your friends list has access to everything you post. You likely know some of these people better than others, but would you trust each of them to give you a potential reference for a new job? When your friends list outnumbers your high school graduation class, it is always possible that someone there could have ties to a company you are hoping to work for. It might be best to reduce your friends down to just those people you know would have your back were they to be asked about your potential as an employee.

Profile Pictures

There is no hiding your profile picture from the world, and cover photos are now viewable by anyone who can get to your page as well. Put serious consideration into the images you choose to highlight on your Facebook page in this way. While you may think the photo of you doing a keg stand at your high school reunion is hilarious, many hiring managers will quickly discount you if they see that is the image you have chosen to represent you to the internet. Remember too that in some circumstances, these photos can be captured by internet search results and for a long time be associated with your name. You can set your privacy settings to restrict some access, but you should still choose your main images very carefully.

View As

To see what others can see, go to your profile page and select the “view as” option. This should bring up a public view of your Facebook page. It can be enlightening to see how much is viewable by the general public that you were previously sure had been hidden. With Facebook constantly changing their settings, you never know what may suddenly become available for the whole world to see. It is advisable to use this tool to check on your current settings regularly, allowing you to remain aware of what hiring managers will come across should they decide to go snooping through social media looking for information about you.

Lock it Up

The best way to protect yourself during the job hunt is to carefully consider everything you post online. Beyond that, you can delete photos from your timeline and set your profile settings to be as secure as possible. If you are really feeling concerned about what your current internet presence may say to hiring managers about you, you might want to consider temporarily closing your Facebook account down until after your job search has proven to be successful.


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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