How potential employers spy on job seekers
In several now famous studies, it was found that about 93% of potential employers and recruiters spy on candidates seeking employment. Whether it is ethical or legal is up for debate, but the fact is that you may be inadvertently sabotaging your chances of getting the new job. Written by recruiter and career coach Brian Daniel.
With the job market as bad as it is for candidates, job seekers must be diligent to manage one’s “digital presence” on the web. It is statistically and scientifically proven that most potential employers are going to Google your name and check social networking profiles at some point during the selection process. They usually do this BEFORE they call you in.
Here are some hard & fast rules to be aware of when searching for a job:
- ALWAYS set your social networking profiles completely to “private” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Don’t “accept” any new people who “friend” you because it may be a fake profile being used by a recruiter to spy on you. This is standard operating procedure for some employment agencies.
- Setting all your profiles to private is still not enough! Remove any photos on your social networking websites that may be incriminating. If you have a photo of yourself (or your friends for that matter) standing on a table in Las Vegas doing a beer-bong-shot, it’s not going to look good for you. You should also avoid expressing any personal or political views that are considered controversial, too.
- Make sure no friends of yours have posted anything on their Facebook page that could harm you. Just because your profile is set to private doesn’t mean you’re safe. Especially because Facebook can recognize your face and automatically “tag” your name on a pic. If you’ve been applying to jobs with little or no success, you’re probably an unwitting victim of your own web postings without even knowing it. There are MANY “Fired Over Facebook” articles online! Just Google it and see for yourself.
- Google your name and thoroughly scour the search results to make sure nothing that would harm your reputation is there, and don’t let your guard down after you’re hired. Be vigilant because many employers continue to monitor their employees for 90 days during the probationary period.
- Use a completely separate email for applying to jobs. HR managers will type your email into Google and other social networking sites to locate information about you. It’s very possible you could have posted a comment, blog, or other incriminating bit on the web that will come back to haunt you later. Your email should ONLY be your name. Sample: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s advised that you NOT use your college email (.edu) because recruiters may look at you as an inexperienced student as opposed to a seasoned professional.
A final word about your job search
Because of the increased competition for top jobs, leave no stone unturned when it comes to the management of your online presence. Having the right personal branding makes all the difference in the world.