In a particularly interesting lecture this year, a graduate student took the reigns in one of my classes and discussed social media in some broad terms. I am embarrassed to admit how little I knew about some information he threw out there such as how Facebook tracks your every move online. I have always been fairly cautious when it comes to posting things on social media sites because I know people have their ways of accessing this information.
However, I am friends with many people on Facebook who do not understand that what they post online can a lot of the time be accessed by a number of people regardless of privacy settings. In this article, TribeHR points out some interesting facts about social media use in the working world.
I want to draw your attention to the section that indicates 85% of employers said they were less likely to hire an individual if their Facebook or Twitter page displayed unprofessional behavior.
First off I’m pretty sure every company will have their own definition of unprofessional, but from what I have seen this won’t matter. Based on my Facebook friends alone, the posts are black and white between inappropriate and appropriate. This leads me to believe either these individuals constantly posting unprofessional things either do not care about what a prospective employer thinks or they are not aware these employers can ask for and obtain this information.
My guess would be the latter for the most part.
As for whether or not it is fair for a prospective employer to do this, that is a topic for another post.