How Private is Your Privacy?

You may think that all it takes to get a job is a killer resume, excellent references and to charm the pants off your interviewer, but have you ever thought about your Facebook profile being the reason you don’t get the job? Phyllis Korkki of The New York Times investigates the usage of Facebook as a background check.

Korkki mentions that when you apply for a job, they typically ask your permission to do a background check on your credit and personal information to make sure everything is accurate. They also check references to make sure your resume information does just the same. If you turn them down or don’t allow them to run the check on your information that is typically a red flag, which is why most job-seekers oblige with strangers looking up to see if they really got that 3.8 GPA back in college or paid all of their mortgage payments on time. This way, if you don’t get the job, you will know it was because you are unqualified or someone was more qualified.

Using search engines has changed the game for potential employees according to Barbara Safani, who is the owner of Career Solvers, a career management business in New York. When interviewing Safani, Korkki learned that a lot of employers just type your name right into any search engine and find you. She also mentions that it is almost impossible to erase yourself from any search engine, but you can place yourself lower by adding positive entries about yourself.

Korkki also interviewed Lewis Maltby, owner of the National Workrights Institute, an advocacy group. He mentions the privacy level of your Facebook page is the main factor of how easy potential employers can find you. It also wouldn’t be too difficult for an employer to add one of your friends on Facebook just to see your profile. So in the end, a picture of you with an alcoholic beverage or something inappropriately said on your profile could leave you unemployed for good.

The fact of the matter is that it is highly expensive to hire the wrong person and have to replace them. Companies are looking for the perfect candidates to work for their organization and they are just protecting themselves by looking at all aspects of your life. It is in your best interest to either increase your privacy settings or delete materials that won’t get hired for the job.

The video below is an illustration of the privacy problem with Facebook. John Quain talks with Michelle Gielan of CBS News about how easy it is for potential employers to find you and what you can do so that you can keep your Facebook page and still get the job.

In this video, you will get an in-depth look on how to change your Facebook privacy settings. The video above mentions how to do it as well, but Larry Magid of CBS News gives you a step-by-step tutorial of how to do it so you can keep your friends, but also keep the potential employers away from seeing your page.

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