Social media may be great for your personal life, but its benefits may not be as great for your work life. According to new research reported on Philly.com, a quick review of a job candidate’s Facebook page can predict future job success.
To prove this, a research team led by Donald Kluemper, a management professor at Northern Illinois University, reviewed the Facebook pages of job candidates in an attempt to establish character traits of users. The research, which was published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, found that the information gained from Facebook pages were better predictors of later success than traditional IQ tests given to candidates.
“I think one of the differences is that you change the frame of reference,” Kluemper said. “You’re asking the rater, ‘Is this person a hard worker?’ On a personality test, the employee would be asked, ‘How hard a worker are you?’ One of the criticisms of self-reporting personality testing is that it can be faked. On a Facebook page, that’s a lot harder to do.”
This research presents an opportunity to job-seekers who can use their Facebook and social media pages to make a positive impression in their job search before they ever go on an interview. According to Kenneth Wisnefski, a social media expert who is the CEO and founder of Internet marketing company WebiMax, job candidates must avoid three simple mistakes to turn their Facebook and social media pages from a liability into an asset in their job search.
“Job candidates need to pay close attention to the image they portray of themselves on social media, especially given the high level of competition amongst job-seekers,” said Wisnefski.
Wisnefski’s three tips include:
- Keep close tabs on your pages—“One of the most common areas where people go wrong is they do not understand the degree to which social media can compromise their reputation or misrepresent their personal image. While some may feel their social media image is personal, the reality is that their social presence does generate a very important initial perception that can be exposed if not closely guarded.”
- Watch your comments— “One perspective that job-seekers need to realize is that there is little hope of coming back from ill-advised posts or comments made in poor taste on their profile.”
- Keep your profile image proper— “Simply put, job-seekers cannot afford to overlook the appropriateness of their social media image.”