Job Search Tip of the Month: Can you be fired for Facebook?

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Can you be fired for what you say on Facebook? You betcha……! So how many of you really believe that your Facebook is private? Well, certainly if you have properly set your Facebook privacy controls you should be, right? What is that you say? You haven’t set them up? You don’t know how to? You didn’t know controls exist? You think you did but you are not sure? You thought you wrote a direct message but instead discovered you posted it on someone’s wall? Uh oh people…you could be in trouble.

The truth is, we love social media – Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and more. We love being connected, we love having that access to what is going on with our friends and colleagues, we love being able to share our fun events, our crazy photos, and to rant on when we are mad. We love being able to do this in the heat of the moment…at the touch of our fingertips. But so do employers and recruiters. They love the instant access to information just like you do. And what they are finding out could cost you your job.

Applying for jobs? We all know that employers are going to check references. But did you know that they are also going to search Google, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and more? They are reading your profiles, your wall, your updates, your comments to others, your tweets, and on and on. This cyber information gives them all kinds of insights about who you are and how you think – even if YOU think it is just for fun.

Do you have a job so you think you do not have to worry? Think again. You can argue all you want that social posts should not weigh in to employer decisions. But the reality is that they DO. They are concerned about corporate image. They worry about anger management and security issues in the workplace. They wonder if their staff are team players, are they honest, are they ethical. There are have been numerous articles about people who have lost jobs for what they say – foul language, ranting, name calling, or even the fact that they are using employer time to get onto social media sites. You used it during your lunchtime you say? Did you check to see whether your employer has a policy about using their computers for personal usage?

Realize that anything you put out in cyberspace is out there for others to discover. What you say gives insight into how you are and how you think – even if you just wrote it to vent in a mad moment. When you use employer time and equipment, it is trackable and traceable. Consider the impression this may make on employers. My advice? Leave the ranting off the keyboard and play with your friends in your own backyard.