Employers Checking Social Networking Profiles

by Erika Weisensee, Oregon Mom

Sometimes, I’m very surprised by the content people put on Facebook. This is the mom in me talking:  I’m concerned, especially when people post photos or content that can damage their image. Facebook and other social networking sites have a lot to do with image because whatever we or other people post is contributing to an online profile that a lot of people see, including potential employers.

According to the website CareerBuilder, as many as 45 percent of employers use social networking sites to screen potential employees and the number is growing. This tendency may be especially high when potential employees are young and need to learn more information about candidates who do not have a lot of experience or job references. Some experts are encouraging people to “not post it if you wouldn’t want grandma to see it.” Sounds like pretty good advice.

On the flip side, studies are showing that social networking sites can actually be used to enhance one’s image among potential employers or in other situations, such as when applying for college. According to a CareerBuilder survey, employers also say social networking content can be beneficial for job candidates. Here are some examples:

  • Profile provided a good feel for the candidate’s personality and fit within the organization cent
  • Profile supported candidate’s professional qualifications
  • Candidate was creative
  • Candidate showed solid communication skills
  • Candidate was well-rounded

Social networking sites have become an important evaluation tool in job hiring and in other situations. Encourage young people you know to be aware of the image they are creating online. Like it or not, it seems to matter more than ever before.

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