Is Your Facebook Hurting Your Employment Opportunities?

The Associated Press published an interesting article this week entitled “Employers ask job seekers for Facebook passwords.” While some may say that they do not want to work for a company that is delving into their personal life, others are afraid that in this competitive job-market, they cannot afford to be turned down because they won’t turn off their privacy feature and allow potential employers to poke around.

Despite the constant advice from career services departments, media, and career coaches, many job seekers still do not heed the warnings. Facebook is public information, and it does not take much for an employer to get around the privacy settings, if they choose to do so. Some of the red flags that employers find that can sabotage your job-search include:

  • Bad-mouthing a previous employer
  • Pictures and conversations about drinking or drugs
  • An unprofessional screen name
  • Bragging about getting a job offer before it is offered
  • Conversation/pictures about where you were the night before the interview (until 2 am)

So job seeker beware! Not only are hiring managers trained to do their homework, employers will often hire outside Internet investigative firms to scour the Internet and report back on their findings. In a competitive job market, employers are looking not only for the most skilled, but they are looking for employees with common sense and good judgment. Use yours.