Employers crack down on social media sites

Social networking has taken over how people communicate and connect. Employers at various jobs have noticed and are doing more than calling references and looking at a resume before hiring new employees.

Job managers often look for what kind of pictures are placed online. Evidence of illegal activity, scandalous photos and drunken activities reflect negatively on the applicant.

Employers are asking some applicants

for their usernames and passwords because

Facebook profiles have privacy settings that can be set to being viewed by friends and family only.

Asking for another person’s login information on Facebook violates the terms of service;

however, there is no real legal weight to doing so.

“While we will continue to do our part, it is important that everyone on Facebook understands they have a right to keep their password to themselves, and we will do our best to protect that right.” Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer for Facebook, states on the website.

“I personally think we’re moving away from the one-page resume,” Max Drucker CEO of Social Intelligence Corporation said on fastcompany.com. “I think we’re moving toward where your online history is your resume.”

It is important to keep a generally clean profile. There are more professional social networking websites such as LinkedIn that are also available to employers. These are more advisable while looking for a job.

Employers are looking at whether applicants pose any potential risk in liability and if that person can represent the company well during and after work hours.

Bob Valentine, professor and senior advertising lecturer at Murray State University, said human resources are now checking social networking websites prior to hiring.

“In addition to destructive or illegal activities, negative messages involve comments about a dislike for work, disrespect for the specific company, unreasonable employment expectations and remarks revealing a tendency toward inappropriate behaviors,” Valentine said. “Remember: employees will soon be representing the company to the rest of world, during work hours and after hours; on duty and off. If you can avoid hiring a liability, you avoid it.”

Graduate schools have also been looking at what is presented by potential students on their Facebook profile pages.

The University of North Carolina has put in a policy about the use and monitoring of social networking sites for team members.

“Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings,” University of North Carolina student handbook states. “The athletics department also reserves the right to have other staff members monitor athletes’ posts.”

“It’s best to use something ambiguous as your profile picture,” Jana Hackathorn, psychology professor at Murray State, said.

Things posted on social networking sites can be seen as something that was not originally the intention.

“I don’t think people think through the things that could be misconstrued.” Hackathorn said.

It is better if there is a risk of having something on a social networking site revealed that could damage or risk getting a job, internship or acceptance into school to instead just delete the account while applying.