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Ask Savvy: Recruiter Asked For My Facebook, Should I Send It?

Dear Savvy,
I was considering applying for a job in the online social media industry, but got turned off when I noticed the listing asks for a cover letter, resume, writing and blog samples, and a Facebook page link. I'm fully aware that employers use Facebook and Google to research candidates, but I don't like the fact that they want to scope me out before they meet me. I'm smart, qualified, have relevant experience and I have a fairly normal Facebook, but would feel funny sharing it with a potential employer. Do you think my application will get put to the bottom of the pile if I don't play the networking game with the recruiter?

Savvy says: Oh! The modern dilemma! To see why you should share if you dare,

.

For those of us who hunted for jobs pre-social networking a recruiter asking for a Facebook link or online profile may seem odd. Especially given we hear stories like the one about the girl who tweeted herself out of a job or tales of recruiters judging applicants based on drunken photos on Flickr, Facebook, Myspace or even Google Image.

The chance of being selected or rejected based on your photo seems harsh, but if you are applying for a social media industry job the recruiter may just want to know how active you are online. If you really don't have anything to hide (think lingerie parties or pukey pics), and already use Facebook as a networking tool, then play with your privacy settings so that the hiring manager can't see anything you don't want them to, find a professional profile photo (or a cute pic of your puppy or favorite beach) and send her the link. Recent studies show your online reputation could actually help you get a job, so spend some time cleaning up your Internet act and just click send. If you still feel Facebook shy, you might consider sending a link to your Linkedin account to reaffirm your professionalism, but show you are comfortable networking online.

All that being said, if you don't feel comfortable sharing, then don't. It's your right to keep your private life private and if your resume and cover letter impress, you'll still get a call from the recruiter. I can't imagine anyone in her right mind would fault you for not sharing your Facebook.

Note: This advice is tailored specifically for this reader who is applying for an Internet job. I do not recommend sending a link to your profile unless you are applying for a position where your Internet activity counts as experience or expertise. A good hiring manager will know how to use Google to find all the pics, status updates and online profiles you have ever set up if her heart desires.

Photo courtesy of FX

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Join The Conversation
margokhal margokhal 6 years
Really Leila? That's interesting to know...is this just for fan pages (the ones people become fans of) or for accounts and profile pages in general? I know a few people who, because they've gone into business and are becoming more publicly known, actually have two Facebook profile pages (I'm assuming each one is tied to a different email account; one profile page with their "personal" information, and one for their "professional" work. None of these are fan pages, but profile pages. Is that illegal? If so, a lot of people are getting away with it...
heatherhas heatherhas 6 years
Oh and margokhal, just a heads up, it is against facebook policy to have more than one page. So if you manage a business page (you know, one that people become "fans" of) you have to log in to it though your existing personal account.
heatherhas heatherhas 6 years
Are you sure it is your personal page they want? I run a facebook page for work, so they may have asked that to see what your current social network marketing skills are.
margokhal margokhal 6 years
I'm totally going to be in this position in a couple of years (looking for a social media job!), so thanks so much Savvy for posting this! :) I'm trying to establish a proper Internet image...I don't have things up on any social networking site that are too out of the ordinary or aren't locked down with privacy settings, but I do want to project a professional yet laid-back image. I understand that it would be ordinary for a potential employer to ask for links to personal profiles on social networking sites in this industry...if you're going to be studying online activity, you should know a bit about how it works. That's best evaluated by HAVING those things. I think I'll end up either deleting the sites I have now or make multiple accounts and lock down my "personal" ones.
NaviGanancial NaviGanancial 6 years
If you don't want to have to create a million Facebook pages then you guys could use this other site called www.koda.us. It allows you to put more personal content than LinkedIn, but it allows you to present a more professional image of yourself than Facebook. Sometimes you just want make your personal pages personal, and not have to worry who may be looking at your page.
bingbingboom bingbingboom 6 years
You are looking into working in the Social Media industry. It's fair for the employer to look at a sample page, just like an artist needs to submit a profolio. You can always create a Facebook page that focuses more on your work (links, videos etc), less on your private life.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 6 years
This is why I don't have a Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter account. Recruiters/prospective employers can't look up what doesn't exist right? I do have a LinkedIn account for job networking purposes though.
cherryblossom cherryblossom 6 years
everyone, and i mean EVERYONE should be aware by now that if you dont give it theyll find it some other way, and you shouldnt be careless enough to put precarious things on it in the first place. If you know you are going to be going through these things atleast have the smarts to clean it up before you even go, most employers wouldnt even ask, and then youd be pretty much screwed for not thinking of it before hand. So my advice is just dont put anything risky up on facebook to begin with. I mean think about it, if its something you are afraid for people who would be employing you to see, do you really want anyone to see it?
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