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Why Jobseekers And Facebook Shouldn’t Mix

Having recently gone through the process of hiring a new employee in my own company, I feel I am in a position to give you some insight into how a Facebook profile can greatly impact on whether an applicant makes it through to the interview stage or whether their CV gets binned right there and then.

Whether they like to admit it or not, in this day and age it is not uncommon for a recruiter to search for an applicant on Facebook to assist them in their decision. Profiles that are visible to everyone and anyone can shed either a good light or a bad light on the applicant though it is usually the bad and this is where I will focus.

In my recent search for an employee, I saw and read things that changed my mind completely and prevented me from inviting those applicants to the interview stage. These included hobbies and interests ranging from egoism to anti-statism and bizarre pictures of applicants dressed as bananas.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect an individual’s right to believe whatever they want to believe and to display any type of photo on their personal profile. However I am a human being as much as I am a recruiter and it is inevitable that what I see on Facebook will figure into my thinking in some way even if on a subconscious level.

I can tell you now that the majority of applicants who were invited to the interview stage for my vacancy either used an email address which was not linked to a Facebook account (which is the wisest choice for any applicant) or they limited access to non-friends to just one profile photo.

You see, with so many applications hitting my desk on a daily basis (which says something about the state of the economy I feel) I found it quicker to look for reasons not to employ someone rather than those facts which worked in their favour.

Of course, I can only speak for myself and my methods but it would not surprise me one bit if this were the way other recruiters worked. It makes god business sense to weed out the non-starters as quickly as possible and with hundreds of millions of people with accounts on Facebook these days, there exists a resource unlike any that existed 5 years ago.

So my advice to any jobseekers reading this is clear: when applying for jobs, use an email address that is NOT linked to a Facebook account. At the very least you should check your privacy settings to ensure that any recruiter (who is presumably not your friend on Facebook) can see nothing but the most basic of details.

Michael Woods has been in the recruitment space for many years and gives some of his best advice on UK Jobs Guide where he regularly posts opinions and features. Here you can also find your local Job Centre offices and apply directly for jobs posted by recruiters.

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