Going Public

You know how most politicians and Hollywood stars mentally evaluate their comments prior to speaking, for fear it will be misconstrued and wind up in the tabloids?

“Yes, but what does this have to do with me, a current or aspiring IT professional?” you may ask.

Well, let’s extend that concept to the average Joe Schmoe, who is highly qualified for an IT position at XYZ Corp. Joe has an elaborate profile on Facebook and does a substantial amount of networking in his spare time.

While catching up with an old friend from high school, Joe unthinkingly posts a few rash comments — interspersed with a couple profanities — about his previous employer on his Facebook page. In addition, some of his uploaded photos depict Joe drinking with a bunch of his buddies at the neighborhood bar.

Unbeknownst to him, Joe’s prospective employer gets wind of this content. Do you think some seemingly harmless posts would lower Joe’s chances of landing the job?

According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com, it certainly is probable.

The job-search Web site surveyed a variety of employers and found that 20 percent of companies review candidates’ profiles on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook during the hiring process. Another 9 percent expressed an interest in doing so in the near future.

But here’s where it gets interesting: While the results suggest that 24 percent of employers decided to hire candidates based on their profiles, a whopping 33 percent…


Deanna Hartley

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