More than 25% of Australian bosses use Facebook and Twitter to screen job candidates, and rejecting half of applicants based on what they’ve seen online.
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And bosses snooping Facebook on current staff is also common with almost 20% confessing to using online forums to make sure employees aren’t posting derogatory comments about themselves or dissing their employers.
Almost 20% of employers proactively ‘friend’ their staff on Facebook with the intention of monitoring their online behaviour.
Bosses also admitted to checking status updates and Twitter feeds, to ensure staff were staying offline during work.
However, some bosses also revealed they had rejected ‘friend’ requests, believing ‘friending’ staff blurred the line between professional colleague and friend.
Facebook is the biggest social network screener with 41% of bosses saying they check out its pages, followed by LinkedIn profiles (31%) and Twitter feeds (14%).
However, the Cyber-Safety study also revealed that over a third of employers have hired based on positive things they have seen online, meaning social networks aren’t all bad.
The findings mean Australians need to consider their ‘Cyber CV’ especially over the forthcoming silly season, says Darren Kane, Telstra’s Officer of Internet Trust & Safety.
“Australians love the festive season and sharing their memories with friends and family via sites like Facebook. This new Telstra research has shown that posts, photos and videos shared online not only amuse friends, but can lead to employers making judgement calls that affect careers.”
In other words if your bladdered, leave it out of the Facebook pics and think twice before posting, tagging and uploading pictures and status updates like, ‘was hammered last night, lmfao.’
Some of the biggest faux pas candidates make include posting inappropriate pictures and posting discriminatory comments.
“It’s not just prospective employees who should be considering what their Cyber CV says about them. The research also shows that one in ten employers use Facebook and other social networking sties as a means of keeping an eye on productivity,” Darren added.
With Telstra’s research also revealing that employers are ready to hire prospects based on their digital profile, Darren encouraged job seekers to ensure their publically accessible social content is positive and professional.
Telstra’s tips for managing your Cyber CV:
· Check your social networking pages: Review your Facebook wall, Twitter feed and LinkedIn account and remove language or pictures that might upset, embarrass or offend other people.
· Use the right social media tool: Sites like Facebook and Google+ provide a good way to communicate socially, but can be open to a wide audience including friends of friends. A site like LinkedIn is a great way to share industry related information publicly to your professional network.
· Make privacy a priority: Review and use the privacy settings available to you – do you really want ‘friends of friends’ seeing photos of what you got up to on Saturday night?
· Stay current: Check your profiles are up-to-date and reflective of you as a person. Even if you’re not currently looking for work, social networking profiles are also used to find prospective employees and may land you your dream job.
· Do keep confidential information and derogatory comments to yourself: If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online, including mumblings about your annoying boss. Always take disagreements offline where they can be more effectively communicated and resolved.