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Should items you post on Facebook be considered during a job interview?

April 12, 2013 - Art Smith
Should the items you post on Facebook be considered during a job interview? That’s the question I got to ask around 80 Wood County high school students who attended a High School Business Symposium sponsored by Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley earlier this week at WVU-P.

The answers may surprise you. Nearly all of the students thought “yes,“ Facebook pages should be considered when being interviewed.

A job interview, one of the students rationalized, shows the employer what type of job you can do and what skills you have. A Facebook page can show what kind of character you have, how you treat other people and perhaps display some traits that might not mesh well with the culture of the workplace where the person is applying. The question was one of around 20 questions the students had to ponder during a lightning round with business people who had volunteered to be representatives at the event.

At most tables I followed up with the simple question, do you use Facebook now?

Here to, the answer may surprise you. A majority said they seldom used the social working site anymore. Many of those said they have a page, but use it mainly to share things with family members.

I asked many of the students what happened with Facebook. Many said they quit using the site, frankly, when their parents got on the site. There is nothing to stifle your freedom of expression like having your mother ask you about every post you make. Others said they simply moved on to the latest new thing. By new, they mean new to them. A lot of them have moved on to Twitter, which is hardly new, but currently is enjoying a huge boost by the smartphone-touting teenagers of America.

Others are using the picture-driven Instagram, the video-driven Vine or the poof-and-it’s-gone photo-sharing app called Snapchat.

Facebook consistently has tried to adapt to the changing taste of social networkers, the result may end of being software too bloated for most people to use.

Employers who truly want to get a virtual view of the character of a potential employee likely should start thinking about checking a broader range of sites than just Facebook. Some call this an invasion of privacy, it’s not. If you don’t want people to see something, don’t put it online. If the person who is willing to pay you, and trust you to do a job can find your profile, so can all the creepers who only want to do you harm.


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