Should You Delete Your Facebook Before an Interview?

September 23rd, 2014

As recently as a few years ago, hiring experts were recommending that job seekers delete their Facebook profiles. There was concern that potential employers would take one look at pictures of you carousing with friends, using bad language, and generally showing your personal side would work against you.

But things have changed. These days, employers expect to see that candidates have a social media presence. If you don’t, they’ll wonder what you’re hiding. And because Facebook is still the most popular social network, it’s almost expected that they’ll find your profile when they search you—which nearly 50 percent of companies do.

Clean It Up!

You don’t want employers seeing the worst side of you, though. If they see picture after picture of you drinking heavily, doing drugs or passed out, they’re going to think twice about hiring you. If your statuses or online conversations are peppered with vulgar language or grammatical errors, this may count against you, also. In fact, in a recent survey, employers stated that they took a candidate out of the running for a job after seeing the following types information on their social media profiles:

  • Provocative/inappropriate photos/info
  • Proof of candidate drinking or using drugs
  • Bad-mouthing previous employer
  • Evidence of poor communication skills
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.

So take a look at what your Facebook profile and Wall say about you. You want to make sure that the information you’re sharing is what you want your future employer to have access to. Think about this: in the same survey, some employers said that they came across information on social media sites that made a candidate more attractive or solidified the decision to extend a job offer, such as:

  • Getting a good feel for the candidate’s personality
  • Seeing that the candidate was well-rounded, with a wide range of interests
  • Seeing evidence of creativity and great communication skills

Show That You’re Savvy

Another way to handle concerns about what employers will see when they Google you? Tighten up your privacy settings. This will show employers that you’re smart about online security, which is a must in today’s digital workplace. So take down tasteless photos, but don’t completely erase all evidence of your personality. Let potential employers learn about your interests and what you’re passionate about. Use your best judgment about how to keep your profile personal yet professional.

Need a little guidance? Check out our previous post, How to Attract Recruiters With Social Media, or call Synerfac to discuss the current hiring environment for people with your skills and experience.

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