Do you use Facebook.com? Is there anything on your Facebook profile that you would prefer I did not see? Facebook does a fantastic job allowing you to make your profile private; however, most candidate profiles are entirely open for the world to see, including any prospective employers.
Let’s imagine the scenario; you’ve been for a job interview. The interview went well, you liked the hiring manager, and you think the hiring manager liked you. You have all the knowledge and skills for this position, and the salary is correct for you.
What do you think happens the minute you leave your interview? I bet right now you’re thinking something like references, or maybe a security check or perhaps check-in the with police to see if you have a criminal record or a past that you do not want people to know. Actually, you would be wrong.
The First Thing A Hiring Manager Does
The first thing a hiring manager does when they think they have found a candidate they want to hire is to check them out on the internet to include their Facebook profile.
If I am doing the checking, the first thing I do is to put your name into google and check out the top searches for your name. A simple Google search will bring up anything on the internet that is linked to you. I would also take this a step further and check the Google Images section to see if there are any images of you on the internet.
Secondly, I will check out a few social media programs such as LinkedIn and see you have any references or if we have familiar friends that maybe I can get a referral from.
Do you know someone that I am connected to? If yes, I can get a quick reference without you ever knowing or briefing your referee on what to say and what not to say about you.
Thirdly, my personal favourite is to put you into Facebook and see if I can find your profile. Facebook is brilliant, and, with a couple of clicks, I have your life history on my computer. Where you’ve been on holiday, what you have been up to — maybe there will be some pictures that you have locked up that will show what you’re like.
99% of users don’t limit access to their profiles and leave the world to see any pictures and messages. I don’t use Facebook for anything else than connecting with old friends that I have not seen in a while, however, many people put their entire life on Facebook.
Pictures from a night out in the town, photos from their holiday, maybe even pictures of them doing something stupid that might look great with your mates but probably does not seem so great when you’re trying to create a professional impression to a hiring manager.
Worse still in the past, I have seen candidates profiles where there have been pictures showing candidates doing drugs, passed out cold with beer bottles next to them and even dancing naked in the middle of the city centre.
If you have any pictures that resemble any of the above, get them off your Facebook Profile and secondly limit access so that they don’t end up on the internet for the world to see.
Remember, hiring managers are not stupid and are going to read into things. Yes we have all had a crazy night out during the week and yes we have all got friends that will talk about it on Facebook; however, you need to keep the silly messages about your crazy night out on a Tuesday night to a minimum.
Messages such as “epic hangover from last night”…. on a Tuesday night. Alternatively, “not going to work today as I was out last night”…. can be forgiven once or twice, but you must make sure that you keep these to a minimum. Think before you show the rest of the world what you’re like.