As if it isn’t scary enough that your future employer can search for you on Facebook, and possibly find something that you don’t want them to see, it is getting even scarier. In this article on MSNBC, it reveals how contacts on social networking websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are now being used for job references! Some employers use a person’s contacts on social networking websites to get dirt on them. It makes you wonder if all of the people on your own friend list have only good things to say about you, right?
“The old days of a page with three references and three phone numbers on it that you controlled are over,” says Jennifer L. Berman, an HR attorney with consulting firm CBIZ in Chicago. “With these networking sites, you’ve opened up your rolodex for the whole world to see.”
Later on, the article gives tips on how to maintain a glowing recommendation, even if it isn’t on paper:
- Add anyone you don’t want your employers contacting to a private list.
- Take advantage of tools on your favorite website that allow you to add recommendations to your profile, so your employer doesn’t search for one.
- Don’t add too many recommendations from friends that you don’t have a work relationship with. This could cause your reference list to look like the people you partied with in college!
- Don’t give recommendations to people you don’t feel are qualified – this could damage your own credibility.
Social networking pages have many advantages – just think of how much we use Facebook and Myspace for clients within the firm! But just like anything else, good things can go bad. By keeping these things in mind, you can stay connected AND keep good face with future employers!