Social media history becomes a new job hurdle

Posted by:

Most novices launching websites labor through the perplexing task of trying to understand and implement procedures and techniques designed to increase site traffic. SEO, post titles, key words, tags, links, trackbacks, pings, commenting on other sites and forums, etc. are all important considerations. So when you read an article, post or other commentary, there was generally a great deal of behind-the-scenes prep work done before it was published.

Recently, I read a report where both Google and Bing agreed that social networking is now the Numero Uno – #1 – factor for delivering visitors to websites. Perhaps in support of this proclamation is the fact if you pay attention, you’ll notice the increase in companies linking to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sources. In consideration of this newly discovered revelation, I began my quest to connect with as many professionals and other sources as I could on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – with more to come as time permits.

We know that the content on LinkedIn, Facebook and other media sources we use to establish connections and communication is considered public domain. But were we aware that, like e-mail, our actions can, or will, rest somewhere in the heavens forever? Once you say it, it lives on forever.

Well now, who would have thought that a new cottage industry of Cyber Snoopers is seeing gold in them thar hills! The NYT has (disturbing) news where possible employers may look at everything you’ve said or done online in the past seven years. In their article Social media history becomes a new job hurdle: Companies have long used criminal background checks, credit reports and even searches on Google and LinkedIn to probe the previous lives of prospective employees. Now, some companies are requiring job candidates to also pass a social media background check.

A year-old start-up, Social Intelligence, scrapes the Internet for everything prospective employees may have said or done online in the past seven years.

And what relevant unflattering information has led to job offers being withdrawn or not made? Mr. Drucker said that one prospective employee was found using Craigslist to look for OxyContin. A woman posing naked in photos she put up on an image-sharing site didn’t get the job offer she was seeking at a hospital.

Given complex “terms of service” agreements on most sites and Web applications, Mr. Rotenberg said people do not always realize that comments or content they generate are publicly available.

As one commenter stated:

Go ahead, search me. I don’t do drugs, my president sucks and since I don’t speak any ‘foreign’ languages I shouldn’t have to press one for English. NOW will you hire me?

After reading the entire NYT article, you may find yourself changing the way you communicate with colleagues and friends. Oh, you might also need to reconsider some of those other sites you frequent!

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.