Not on Facebook? Employers could wonder what you’re hiding
You already know that it’s not the best idea to post profanity, photos of your weekend party misadventures or illegal activity onto your Facebook profile for all (hiring managers included) to see. A simple solution would be to delete your profile or make it inaccessible through search engines, right?
Several career experts are saying that giving up or hiding your Facebook might not be so simple. A recent article written by Forbes says that not having a Facebook profile could raise suspicion in the minds of potential employers and recruiters. When no Facebook profile is to be found, hiring managers could question your social skills or wonder what you’re trying to hide (an album with photos of your cat dressed up for Halloween, for example).
On an extreme note, articles published this past week in Time and Forbes cite a German media outlet, Tagesspiegel, which mentions two mass murderers (Anders Breivik in Norway and James Holmes in Colorado) who are both not present on social media sites. The German article points out that abstaining from social media sites could show a strange avoidance of normal societal interactions.
An obviously extreme example, but I can’t deny having questioned the intentions of my one or two Facebook-free friends. What don’t they want the world to see? Why can’t I see what their pet is up to?
Extreme examples and joking aside, with 66% of HR and recruitment professionals using Facebook as a method for sourcing new talent (according to a Jobvite survey conducted in June 2012), not having a presence on the social media site that is now being used by almost 1 billion people could indeed raise a red flag (could being the key word).
According to Tara Orchard, a social media expert and the principal career performance coach at Career-Coach Canada and Careeradex.com, the “lack of a Facebook profile is not in and of itself a concern. Having no social media presence at all may raise more concern, not because you are hiding something, but the concern could be that you are out of touch with the times.”
Career counselor Shirin Khamisa, the founder of Careers by Design, agrees. When compared to candidates who are taking charge of their personal brand through social media “the job searcher (not on Facebook) may be at a disadvantage because they lose out on an opportunity to display their strengths. Know your industry – this will give you guidelines about how much of your personal life to include in your social media brand.”
Are you likely to be marked as a social leper or party animal and miss out on a career opportunity because you don’t have a Facebook profile? Probably not.
According to Khamisa, “the old cliché, ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity,’ does not apply to job seeker. Not having a Facebook page could actually give you a leg up.”
Do you think not having a Facebook page your hurt your employment prospects? Please share below.