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Could your Facebook get you fired? : 15 Dec 2011

What we share on social networks, at anytime, can have a significant bearing on our success in getting a job as well as potentially costing us a job we already have!

SmartCompany reported recently that '...more than a quarter of 1,255 recruiters surveyed use social networking sites to screen job candidates and more than half of these admitted to having turned away prospective employees based on something they've seen on Facebook or Twitter.'

A conversation I had with a Personal Training studio owner supports this. They regularly use Facebook to screen applicants and on this basis have turned down candidates that were otherwise in line for a job offer! The type of thing they look for include the posting of discriminatory comments and/or the posting of inappropriate pictures (which in our industry could be a photo of you, on a night out, utterly slaughtered).

When it comes to getting a job, it's not all bad. A third of Australian employers who screen social profiles had hired people based on positive things they had seen online.

Industrial relations lawyer Peter Vitale told SmartCompany that most of the information available on social media profiles was fair go for recruiters. ".. if the material is published and people haven't set their security settings to limit who can see what's on their profiles...it's a perfectly legitimate thing to do,".

This does not mean, however, that you're free to 'cut loose' on your workplace or bosses while your privacy settings are set to maximum!

The internet abounds with people who thought they were making comments in private or made a comment as a joke and found themselves back in the job market.

Allow me to illustrate;

In August this year the Fair Work Australia found that abusive comments about a manager were grounds for dismissal. Even though the comments were posted privately, they were seen by other workers in the company and it was considered a threat to the reputation of the company.

A recent dispute between a hairdressing salon employee and their employer found that, while there was a case for unfair dismissal, the decision was based on the limited reach of the original comment alone.

And there is this epic fail circulating the web...

facie fail

Before I wrap it up there is one other way to get yourself in trouble with social networking; overuse on work time. In May this year Fair Work Australia confirmed that 'proof of excessive use of social media during work hours may constitute a valid reason for termination of employment'.

And it's not just the hassle of finding a new job, it's having to discuss with every employer; 'Why did you leave your last job?'.
 
So remember, when expressing your views online you are doing so to a potentially global audience which is listening 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And, as long as one person has saved your comments, NOTHING can be taken back.


Recognising that employers are making use of social networking as a recruitment tool, use it to your advantage. If you have a passion for health and fitness, natural therapies or nutrition, etc., why not make your social presence reflect this passion (instead of your personal life). A dedicated Facebook page or Twitter profile listed on a CV would help anyone stand out among job applicants.

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Administrator 18 Dec 2011 08:21:27
       

A comment from AM to me via email...

"Thanks for that email about the social networking sites, while I don't have anything incriminating on my fb, it wasn't something I had considered."

Thanks AM, I appreciate the feedback. D.

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