You Might Want To Rethink Those Facebook Photos

We hope your Facebook account is set to private. A new survey of 300 HR professionals found that what's online could make or break your job prospects — more even than a résumé.

The survey, commissioned by Domain.ME (the company that owns .me domains) found that one in five human resource professionals screen candidates on Facebook — and nearly 50% would check Facebook "sometimes."

Meanwhile, a solid 25% do a quick Google search on potential hires. So your Facebook photos and Twitter updates? Those are considered part of your employment bid, right alongside your work history.
Photo: Courtesy of Domain.ME.
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"The biggest thing the research found was that social media gave human resource employees negative information, rather than positive," Natasa Djukanovic, sales and marketing director for Domain.ME said on a call.

According to the survey, 61% of the HR pros were using what they found online to help identify "red flags." Of those surveyed, 71% would most likely overlook a candidate with risqué photographs, 69% would dismiss a candidate if they saw negative comments about work, and 60% would consider photos of partying or drinking alcohol as a sign to not hire a candidate.

Only 30% would eliminate a candidate if they saw controversial opinions regarding social or political issues.

Of course, some online presence is better than none — and some forms are better than others. More than half of employers said a personal website makes a "positive, professional impression."

"Having a personal website or landing page is the best way to present your knowledge and your interest and make your CV accessible online," Djukanovic says. "Recruiters want a personal website to help them better define the person they are looking at." As for a personal blog? The findings show that recruiters would be less likely to consider those an asset.

The takeaway: Set your Facebook settings to private, watch your Twitter feed, and yes, maybe invest in a personal site. And please, leave your Tumblr off your résumé.
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