TGIF … Totally Guard Identity (on) Facebook

August 5, 2011
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OK – We probably could have come up a better ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ knock off to warn you about keeping your facebook posts and tweets at bay this weekend. However after reading Jennifer Waters, article, “Could you pass a Facebook background check?” on marketwatch.com, we’ve been warned! And now, so have you ;)

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — The next time you apply for a job, don’t be surprised if you have to agree to a social-media background check. Many U.S. companies and recruiters are now looking at your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other accounts and blogs — even YouTube — to paint a clearer picture of who you are.

“Almost all employers do some form of background screening because they have to avoid negligent hiring,” said Max Drucker, chief executive of Social Intelligence, a consumer-reporting agency. “An employer has an obligation to make the best effort to protect their employees and customers when they hire.” Listen to audio: Your Facebook page is part of your resume.

And it’s not the tequila shot photos from Cabo they are looking for…

I look at their Facebook and see how they approach what they put on it,” says Kim Harmer, a partner at Harmer Associates, a Chicago-based recruiting firm. “Is it immature? Appropriate or inappropriate? I’m not judging their activity but looking at how they communicate what they do and their thoughts and their judgments to the public as a reflection of what they will do with clients and team members.”

To stay out of trouble -here’s a few tips from Jennifer Waters

Here are some tips:

  • Make every effort to find out what’s out there about you. Anything that may be taken out of context should be taken down.
  • Be concerned about the accuracy of what’s gathered. Drucker said his company looks at layers of social media to determine if the John Brown it is looking at is the same John Brown that the company is considering hiring. If his identity was stolen, John Brown’s information could be “correct” but inaccurate.
  • Remember that bits and pieces of you are at a number of other sites, like LinkedIn, Craigslist or Foursquare, not to mention blogs, forums and wikis that you might visit.
  • Check — and frequently recheck — your privacy settings on social-media accounts like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Create a positive online presence by putting up your résumé on a site with your domain name or getting it on forums of charitable organizations that you support.
  • If in doubt, consider hiring a company like Reputation.com to help you present, well, a better you.

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