It is not a secret that the vast majority of HR Managers in Malta and abroad use social media to carry out background checks on job applicants. Apart from going through your Linked In profile to check your qualifications, HR departments will often visit your Facebook account, in order to get a better perception of who you are and what you enjoy doing in your free time.
Of 2,184 hiring managers recently surveyed by CareerBuilder, one-fifth said a candidate’s online profile helped them land (or not land) a position. 43 percent of HR managers said they found information that led them to exclude a candidate.
Careful what you post online then! More specifically you should avoid posting the following:
– Too hot to handle: nowadays everyone seems to believe he/she is a super model. While it is good to see such an increase in self esteem, you do not necessarily need to show us last week’s photoshoot in your latest snake leather thong or push-up… please!!
– Party animal: ok, so you are on heavy drinking and drugs? We would recommend you drop the habit, but if you really cannot, keep it to yourself! About 48 percent of HR managers discovered information about the candidates’ self-indulgent habits on social-media sites.
– Payback is a bitch: one-third of managers found applicants had bad-mouthed a previous employer. We can understand you being resentful toward a former employer who did not treat you fairly, but this should be avoided (as it may also have legal repercussions if your former employer found out).
– “Me, majself and I”: we don’t expect you to be Charles Dickens when you post, but try, at least, to respect basic grammar rules!
– I hate the world: about 28 percent of managers spotted discriminatory comments about race, gender, and religion, but…
– Anything goes: ..the opposite is also true. A conservative manager may exclude you if you declare yourself in favour of abortion, gay marriages, the use of drugs, etc.
Do not think that you may then solve the problem by simply making your profile private. Especially in a small island like Malta, it is not unusual for an HR manager to have friends in common with you who would allow them to see your profile.
Hence the bottom line here is: keep your profile as neutral as possible… and avoid befriend HR managers on Facebook!