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Employers Are Viewing Your Profile on Social Networking Sites

Aug 08, 2007

Think that picture of you chugging beer with your college pals is funny? You better hope potential employers think so, too. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, one in every ten employers is viewing profiles on social networking sites and possibly factoring what they see into hiring decisions.

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Social Networking Site Annual Growth (%)
Tagged 774%
Facebook 270%
MySpace 72%
Bebo 172%

Source: comScore

The annual growth of social networking sites is a global trend. But it's not just students who are hopping on the bandwagon. Employers, and even college recruiters, are signing on and checking up on site users.

Will Your Profile Affect Job Prospects?

New college grads will be faced with a tougher job market and savvier employers this year and next. According to a 2007 job outlook survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more and more employers are hitting Google and social networking sites to learn more about job candidates.

Out of the employers surveyed, one in ten said they planned to review social networking site profiles prior to making a hiring decision. More than 60 percent said the information they see on these profiles will influence what they think about the job candidate, and more importantly, who gets hired and who doesn't. The other 40 percent are undecided as to whether or not the images and text seen on such sites should factor into a hiring decision.

'While social networking is one of the current mainstream media buzzwords, in the recruitment and staffing space it is all about helping employers to find and match candidates to open job positions and build a talent pool. Whether social networking is the answer to recruitment is yet to be seen,' says R Sunder, president, Times Business Solutions.

Does this recruitment process seem like a violation of your privacy? It's not.

Employers have a lot of leeway when deciding who they should and should not hire. Unless an applicant is being discriminated against because of race, age, gender, or ethnicity, there is very little the applicant can complain about later on. And because users of social networking sites can typically control what is posted and who is able to view these postings, the responsibility to maintain privacy lies completely with the user.

So, the moral of the story: if you are a new college grad, and you're looking for a job, make sure there isn't anything up on your profile that might jeopardize your chances with a prospective employer.

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