Job seekers should consider cleaning up their Facebook profile before interviewing, based on a recent survey conducted by LiveCareer.com, a leading career and resume-building website. According to the survey, almost half of the respondents who identified themselves as executives were likely to make a hiring decision based on a prospective employee’s online identity or Facebook profile.
The informal LiveCareer survey gathered responses about workplace privacy and hiring practices from over 6,600 users. Of the respondents, over 46 percent of executives believed a company should review a candidate’s online profiles before extending a job offer.
Within the same group, 41 percent believed that companies have the right to deny a job offer based on the applicant’s online identity and 40 percent believed a company has the right to fire an employee based on inappropriate comments an employee made on his/her Facebook page.
"Most people know that employers cannot ask questions regarding race, gender, religion, age, pregnancy, or sexual preference during job interviews,” says James Freundlich, co-CEO of LiveCareer North America. “What people may not realize is the degree to which hiring managers can glean personal information about candidates by poking around their Facebook page."
Executives were not the only category of respondents who felt Facebook could be used as a filter for job applicants. Surprisingly, over 33 percent of entry level respondents believed a company should review a candidate’s online identity before extending a job offer, and 27 percent agreed that companies have the right to deny a job based on a candidate’s online profile. Within the same group, over 30 percent also believed a company has the right to fire an employee based on inappropriate comments the employee made on his/her Facebook page.
"We expected the respondents' age to affect their views on workplace privacy," says Freundlich. “But we did not expect 1 in 4 of the entry-level respondents to agree that a company could deny them a job offer based on their Facebook profile, nor did we think over 30 percent would think it's okay to be fired for something they’ve posted online. We help a lot of recent graduates build their first resumes. We'll be advising them, as well as our more experienced job seekers, to go through their Facebook profiles and make sure they're not tagged in comments or photos that could cost them a job."
Livecareer.com welcomes a deeper review of the survey data, and will make the data available to qualified researchers. A copy of the data can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org.
LiveCareer, home of America's #1 resume builder, is a leading online career destination, helping people create job-winning resumes. LiveCareer was named one of the Top 100 employment websites by Weddle, and is featured in Weddle’s prestigious 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. We have helped over 10 million registered users find career success through our cover letter and resume builder products, scientifically validated online career and education tests, salary resources, and a job search engine. Our products are designed with our users in mind; assisting them in every aspect of their careers and helping them make better career and educational decisions to improve their lives.
For more information, visit the LiveCareer website at http://www.livecareer.com.