Do you blog, tweet, post bulletins or inform people about your current moods and activities online? If so, then you’re part of the worldwide sensation known as social networking. Whether your social network of choice is MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or all of the above, anything you put on these sites says a lot about you – maybe more than you’d like.
A recent survey taken by thousands of social networkers revealed that a large number of people are embarrassed by their online profiles. Many of these people would not want coworkers or employers to find them on social networking sites, because their pictures, comments or other content may be inappropriate. Anyone who is wary of a personal profile should be careful; it’s easy to find most anyone online these days. A Social Network Search locates the profiles anyone has all over the Web, and people are looking.
Every employer does a little research before hiring a new person, and one of the newest ways to find out more about prospective employees is to look at their social profiles. Modern hiring managers are scouring the web to see what they can find out about people who are being considered for any job. Many of these managers admit that if they don’t like what they see on your profiles, you may not get hired.
Job applicants aren’t the only ones being affected by their social networking habits. Major companies across the globe are participating in Network Monitoring; actively checking the online profiles their employees maintain. The general feeling is that people who work for a company represent it at all times, even when they’re off the clock.
Some companies, such as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) have published “Rules of Conduct” for their employees to follow when using sites like Facebook and Twitter. These rules are intended to ensure that no staff member posts anything that could be embarrassing or damaging to the company, and include comments such as “Business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter” and “Common sense should prevail, but if you are in doubt about the appropriateness of a Tweet or posting, discuss it with your editor before sending”.
WSJ is not alone. Other corporations and even government agencies are investigating people’s social networking habits. You have the right to post whatever you want about yourself on social networks, but the people you work for (or hope to work for) have the right to decide that the image you project is not right for their company. It’s a touchy subject, and one that we’ll be watching closely as personal and professional worlds start to collide in the social networking stratosphere. Just remember that when you update your profiles, friends and family may not be the only ones watching.
What do you think? Should employers have the right to judge people based on what they post to social network sites? Leave us a comment to share your opinions, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders.com People Search blog.