MORE than a quarter of Australian bosses are now using social networking sites to screen job candidates, with almost half of these employers admitting to turning away prospects based on something they've seen on Facebook or Twitter.
While inappropriate social networking behaviour was found to limit employment opportunities, the Cyber-Safety research done by Telstra also revealed that over a third of Australian employers who screen social profiles have hired prospects based on positive things they have seen.
Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for Sunshine Coast, Kris Carver, said the research findings are a timely reminder that Sunshine Coast locals need to consider their Cyber CV over the silly season.
Australians love the festive season and sharing their memories with friends and family via sites like Facebook, but Telstra recommends job seekers think twice before posting, tagging and uploading pictures and status updates this Christmas," Mr Carver said.
"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.
"According to the findings some of the biggest Cyber CV faux pas candidates make include posting inappropriate pictures (with 31%of employers saying this counts against applicants) and posting discriminatory comments (37%).
"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."
With Telstra's research also revealing that employers are ready to hire prospects based on their digital profile, Mr Carver encouraged job seekers to ensure their publically accessible social content was positive and professional.
Telstra's research also revealed:
- To Friend or not to Friend: More than half of bosses reject 'friend' requests, with three in five employers reporting that 'friending' employees blurred the line between professional colleague and friend.
- Cyber CVs limiting employment opportunities: Top social media behaviours counting against applicants include posting negative comments about their workplace (with 44% of bosses saying this counts against job candidates) followed by discriminatory posts (37%) and posts which contained confidential information (32%).
- Snoop alert: 18% of employers use social networking connections to make sure employees aren't posting derogatory comments about themselves or the company and 15% do so to keep an eye on employee productivity. One in five employers proactively 'friend' their staff on Facebook.
- Facebook vs LinkedIn: Facebook is the biggest social network screener with 41% of bosses who screen applicants via social media saying they check out Facebook pages, followed by LinkedIn profiles (31%) and Twitter feeds (14%).
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.