Compilation of already published Articles/Ideas/Problems-Solutions which I faced or came across over the period of time. Largely a place for me to document it as note-to-self. Nothing serious. :)
Thursday, July 19, 2012
What Prospective Employers Hope To See In Your Facebook Account: Creativity, Well-Roundedness, & 'Chastity'
Graphic from Reppler, based on a survey of 300 hiring types
We all know that employers Facebook stalk us before hiring us (or before deciding not to hire us). In an oft-cited survey [pdf] released by Microsoft Research in 2010, 70% of recruiters said they’d rejected applicants based on info they found online. (Kids, that’s why we don’t take photos of ourselves partying in Vegas with strippers, tigers, and illicit drugs.)
Reppler, a start-up that offers a tool for scrubbing your social networking accounts of job-damaging material, recently commissioned a new survey of 300 hiring types to see how they’re using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Tumblr, MySpace, et. al. to screen candidates: 91% of them are doing social networking screens of job applicants. (The other 9% asked if they could use a rotary phone to call their nephews and ask, “What’s a face book?”) At what point do these professional Facebook stalkers turn to the Internetz for a background check? Almost half of them started Googling right after getting an application. The rest of them waited until the hiring process was further along.
Again, 69% of those surveyed say they had at some point rejected a candidate based on what they found there. The most frequent sin committed by the erstwhile job seekers was not drinking (reason for the rejection 9% of the time) or drugs (10%) or having a mutual Facebook friend that the employer thinks is a total skeezeball (0%), but getting caught for lying about their qualifications (13%). Honesty is the best policy, job hunters, especially when there are so many places on the Internet for fact-checking your resumé.
Things to avoid if you're job seeking
Before you go ahead and delete or deactivate your Facebook account, note that Reppler also asked the job granters the converse: how often social networking profiles contributed to a candidate getting hired. Heartening news: That turned out to be the case for 68% of them. What’s the good stuff that will help you score a job? Here’s a nice graphic, courtesy of Reppler:
It's not all bad
It boils down to demonstrated creativity, well-roundedness, and the ability not to tell lies about their educational and professional qualifications. Surprisingly, no one said “Because they looked really hot in their profile photos.”
One of those surveyed did fill in his (or her) own reason: “Because they were Chaste.” “Chastity,” eh? I didn’t realize that nunneries had H.R. recruiters.
Thanks to services like Social Intelligence, the likelihood that employers are going to turn to the Internet as a reference is only going to increase. And expecting them not to is ridunkulous. You probably give a truer sense of yourself and what you’d be like to work with on your Facebook wall than you do in a cover letter. So just as you would censor certain stories about your weekend at the office on Monday morning, make sure to set your privacy settings online such that you broadcast the good stuff publicly and keep the ‘unchaste’ stuff out of employers’ view.