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Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Informal Background Checks More Popular Than Ever

Just because your Myspace page belongs to you, doesn’t mean that it’s private. According to a recent poll, one out of ever five employers conducts an informal background check(Click here) on new applicants by using social networking sites.

The job search mogul asked 3,100 people involved in the hiring process at their companies and found that it is becoming more and more likely that a business will look into your Myspace or Facebook before deciding to hire you. A variety of different things could cause an employer to decide against offering you a new job, making it more important than ever than users of these sites be careful what they post online.

Of those who participated in the poll, 20 percent reported that they had looked at an applicant’s profile on some sort of social networking website. Another 9 percent said that they do not currently do so, but that they plan to start conducting this sort of information background check in the near future.

A third of those polled said that they had found information on one of these sites that made them decide against an applicant. The two most popular reasons for making this sort of decision were the presence of information that led the employer to believe the candidate was a user of illegal drugs or a heavy drinker and photographs that are considered ‘inappropriate’ or ‘provocative’.

Other reason included applicants showing that they had poor communication skills, were given to bad-mouthing previous employers, are lying about their qualification or have an ‘unprofessional’ screen name.

Interestingly enough, the poll showed that 24 percent of the businesses that check on applicants’ social networking sites have found information that led to hiring a particular individual. These employers noted good communication skills, professional page presentation, qualified background information and finding that the applicant would find the office place culture as why they made such a hiring decision.

A spokesperson suggested that individuals looking for new jobs should monitor their websites more carefully, edit comments and remove friends and group links that put off a negative image. It was also suggested that people should consider making their profiles private if they are worried about how the information on their pages would be taken.


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