Clean Up Your On-Line Act!

Looking for a job in NDT or quality inspection? You’d better take some time to inspect your own on-line image first.

The information on your Facebook page, Twitter feed and photo sharing websites, as well as professional networking sites like LinkedIn, are fair game for potential employers. And you’d better believe companies are using the Internet to check out candidates before making hiring decisions.

According to an article by Sarah Downey on the website BostonInno, 86% of male and 61% of female hiring managers review a job searcher’s on-line info. The three types of information that hiring managers look at most frequently are search engines (78% use them when researching applications), social networks (63%), and photo sharing sites like Flickr and TwitPic (59%).

Surprisingly, hiring managers check professional sites like LinkedIn – sites designed around the job search process – only 57% of the time.

What are they looking for? According to Forbes magazine, most employers seem to be worried about drugs, drinking, badmouthing former employers, and lying about one’s qualifications. The Forbes article goes on to state, “The Facebook page is the first interview; if you don’t like a person there, you probably won’t like working with them.”

If you think you can hide your keg stand photos and angry rants behind a wall of privacy, think again. You should be prepared for an employer to ask for your Facebook password in order to access your postings. While there are laws that prevent potential employers from asking questions that would enable them to discriminate on grounds of race, religion, etc., there is nothing to prevent them from asking to look at social media accounts.

The takeaway is this: Be careful what you post on-line. The Internet is, by nature, a public forum that offers little protection from prying eyes. If those eyes happen to belong to the person who is tasked with making a decision about hiring you, you’d better be sure you look like a good candidate from all angles.