Job seekers like us students are definitely targets for companies to scour sites like Facebook, LinkedIn or any other social mediums for their applicants and depending on what they post, it can definitely mean acceptance or rejection. I completely agree with employers who want to look more into the job seeker’s social mediums to obtain a better understanding of who the person is to hire the best candidate possible. They want to make sure that the person that they are hiring are presents him or herself professionally and can represent the company.
Like most others, I also have social mediums such as Facebook but I make sure that my privacy settings are updated so that only friends can view my pictures or profile. In the case if there were a way to breach these security settings, I still make sure that the way I brand myself does not harm my public image. In the future, I do plan on creating a LinkedIn profile that professionally describes who I am such as the work I’ve done, my education, and a formal photo as well as using Quora to answer questions. Having a professional social medium such as LinkedIn can also give you that extra leverage to get yourself hired.
I completely agree that it is ethical for employers to check their job candidates’ social mediums for a number of reasons. For example, what if the scenario comes up where you find yourself working with an employee who doesn’t act professionally, hard to get along with and constantly slacks off? It could definitely be possible that because the company didn’t conduct a web search that the person was hired. Another possibility is what if you were a bank and someone wanted a loan? Wouldn’t it be logical to make sure that the person you are giving a loan to is trust-worthy?
Online representation has definitely opened up new means of access to look up someone’s information. I personally believe that social mediums help out job seekers as it gives more insight to who the person is other than a resume and an interview. It shows who the person is outside of a professional environment. It is just a matter of what you put in your profile and how you choose to to describe yourself to the public.
In conclusion, while you won’t know for sure if you got the job or not because of the employer prying on your social mediums, it is safer to either deactivate your social mediums during the application process if you think it might undermine your chances of getting that position or put information that won’t harm your public image.