Many employers today are turning to Facebook to keep an eye on their employees, especially new hires. These employers are using the popular social media site to get a better image of who the employee really is instead of who they claim to be. They’re also using the information on the site to determine if the information stated on their resume is in fact true.
Many people have set up their Facebook privacy settings to keep their information private from others who are not their friends, but some employees forget that they have friended a coworker or two who now have access to all of their information.
Though most people pay attention to what they post on Facebook, there are a few things that can easily be determined just from looking at a few pictures, seeing events you’re attending or reading a few posts. The following are four ways your profile can catch you in a lie that can ruin your career.
1. Your religious/political beliefs.
For most people, these two things are not a big deal. Most employers don’t care about your religious or political beliefs, but if you work in a religious or political environment, it can have a major bearing on your job.
For example, if you work for a catholic high school, you are usually required to be a catholic role model to the students, so it would not be smart of you to post status updates or images of your real atheist beliefs. If you work for a democrat politician, you should think twice before you “like” a republican Facebook page. If you are friends with a coworker, or even your boss, on these sites, these status updates and pictures can shed light on who you truly are, which can mean the end of your career.
2. Your age.
Though most companies will not care how old you are as long as you are great at what you do, there are a few professions out there where age matters. Depending on where they work, some doctors are forced to retire when they reach the age of 65 in order to keep themselves from becoming a medical liability. Some fire departments will not accept applicants over the age of 30 to ensure they’re considering youthful and healthy candidates for their staff.
If you claim to be younger or older than you are, your real age can easily be found through your Facebook account. And while some people may not list their exact age on their Facebook account, there are plenty of other ways for people to figure it out. Pictures of your junior high graduation with your graduation year on your tassel or responding to a Facebook event about your 10 year high school reunion can easily give away exactly how old you are. If you’re currently in a profession where age matters, you will want to pay close attention to what is being posted about you or what you’re posting to Facebook. If not, you could easily find yourself losing your job.
3. Your personal life.
What you do outside the office shouldn’t have an impact on what you do in the office, but unfortunately, it does. If you are constantly posting pictures or status updates that are deemed inappropriate, you could be risking your career. Even if you think you’re simply being funny, it can be misconstrued, and you could end up paying for it.
Caitlin Davis, an ex-cheerleader for the New England Patriots, was fired after pictures of her posing with a passed-out friend were posted to Facebook. In the pictures, Davis was seen using a permanent marker to write inappropriate messages on her friend. Ashley Payne, a former Georgia teacher, was fired when pictures of her holding glasses of alcoholshowed up on Facebook. These are just two of the numerous cases where people have been fired over information found via social networks. This reason alone is why it’s important to pay attention to what you post and what your friends are posting about you.
4. Your educational/work history.
People lie on their resumes all the time, and Facebook is making it easier and easier to get caught. Don’t claim that you got your Masters from Harvard if your Facebook account shows that you’re currently working on your Associates from an online college. Don’t claim that you worked as management for a giant corporation if your Facebook account claims that you were waiting tables at the local diner. Claiming to have experience that you don’t have and falsifying your resume are easy grounds for termination.
Sharing information via social networking is risky, and if you want to keep your personal and professional life separate from each other, you need to make sure that your privacy settings are accurate and that you’re paying close attention to how you use these sites and what your share through them.
This and many other educational articles helping people on the web have been prepared for you by Lauren Williams thanks to SEOMap the keyword strategy experts.