In what should come as no surprise, social media and its effect on the job market continues to be a conversational presser. The topic is often discussed by nobodies (like myself) in online environments like Twitter and blogs (here’s looking at you, GC), but as the topic shifts from the Wild West of the Internet blog-o-sphere and into dinner conversation circles, CNN is jumping on the topic.
CNN’s article expanded on a recent study by Microsoft that “found that 79 percent of United States hiring managers and job recruiters surveyed reviewed online information about job applicants. In fact, 70 percent of United States hiring managers in the study say they have rejected candidates based on what they found.”
You read that correctly – 79 percent of recruiters and hiring managers Google stalk their candidates. If this was a toothpaste study, that’d be 4 out of 5 dentists. Convincing, right?
As busy season winds down and the itch to test the job market becomes irresistible, what should you do? Many of the people interviewed in CNN’s piece changed their Facebook profile names to be something other than their first and last names. This is all fine and dandy except for the fact that profiles can still be searched by email address, employer and school networks, and geographical location. So yeah, switching your name from Jay Smith to Jay Tizzy is great until your recruiter types the email address on top of your resume into Facebook and finds your page.
What should you do? I covered the importance of Facebook etiquette a few weeks back (refresher can be found here), and I can’t stress how important it is to take advantage of their privacy settings. Once you set them accordingly you should test them out yourself. Log out of Facebook, Google yourself, and click on the search result that is for your public profile. What you’re able to see this way is exactly what your recruiter or potential new boss is limited to.
Pictures of last weekend’s rager? Probably not a good idea. Tighten up your security settings until you’re satisfied with how you’re represented online.