Hello Hire Priority,
Q. I am 22 years old, have recently started looking for a new apartment industry job. I have heard that some property management companies may look up my Facebook page to find out additional information about me. Is this true? And if so, how can I make sure that my Facebook page won’t cost me a potential job offer?
A. Hi Brittany! That is a great question, and the answer is YES; some employers may in fact “research” a potential employee via Facebook. There are several things you can do to not only make sure Facebook doesn’t hurt your chances of getting a job offer, but actually helps them! The following are a few adjustments that you should make to your page right away!
1. Your Profile Picture- I know it is fun to be young and crazy, but a potential employer doesn’t want to see you doing keg-stands or running around the bar district in half of a dress, heels in hand, kissing the door guy! When choosing your profile photo think about the professional image you want to portray to a perspective employer. You want a picture that says, “I’m professional, responsible, and put together!”
2. The Rest of Your Pictures- Some employers will be interested in going beyond your profile picture, so check your settings! Some pictures aren’t meant to be shared with the world! Go through your old pictures and get rid of any inappropriate pictures you might have (i.e. a picture of you flicking off the camera, a picture of you in your underwear, a picture of you passed out at a party…you get the point! Delete them or change the settings so that you are the only person who can access them).
3. Who Are You Following? – Do all of the Businesses/Organizations that you “Like” fall into categories of alcohol, bars, cigarettes, or strip clubs? If they do it’s time to make a change. Get rid of any silly, profane, or potentially bigoted (racist/sexist) group memberships. An employer isn’t likely to be interested in hiring someone who constantly uses bad language or hits the town every night, but they might be interested in hiring someone who is an asset to their community! Try to “Like” some local nonprofit organizations or education related groups.
4. Use Common Sense- Take a little time to go through your entire page and do an all over update. Keep the following in mind when you are looking through your page: According to the recruitment site www.onrec.com the following are five major things that employers look for when conducting background checks using Facebook and similar sights:
1) References to drug abuse
2) Extremist/Intolerant Views
3) Criminal Activity
4) Evidence of excessive alcohol consumption
5) Inappropriate pictures, including nudity
Good luck in your job search, Brittany. Check out the Hire Priority blog for more advice and tips on landing an apartment industry job.