Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Social Media Conundrum

Nowadays job search gurus and web sites such as are commonly advising their readers and members to be mindful of the content that they post on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.  It's no secret that potential employers commonly browse the social media pages of prospective employees as part of their selection process.   I have read that some employers have admitted to disqualifying potential job candidates because of something that they read or saw on said candidate's Facebook page.

I'm a Facebook hold-out.  I don't have a Facebook account, because I am a natural introvert and I don't feel the need or the desire to share every detail of my life with a bunch of on-line "friends".  My real friends know where to find me and we keep abreast of the goings-on in each others' lives in the old-fashioned manner (i.e. by telephone or face-to-face communication).

If a potential employer "Googles" my name, they will find my LinkedIn profile, a bunch of photos on my Flickr page, my Google+ page (which I really don't keep up to date), some game reviews on a computer gaming site, and a handful of miscellaneous posts on technical web sites.  Ironically, they might not even necessarily find this blog, without browsing through several pages worth of results or clicking on related links, because I don't use my proper name here all that much (no, my name is not really "The Halmanator").  With a little more careful searching, they might come upon the video that I posted on YouTube in memoriam of my late son.

There is actually a Facebook account belonging to someone who happens to share my name, but that someone is not me. The same person also has a Twitter account, an Instagram account and, just to really confuse a potential employer, he`s also on LinkedIn.  Presumably anyone looking for me, or information about me, would soon realize that these accounts are not mine, based on the owner's age (he's younger than I), geographical location (he's in New Jersey, I'm in Ontario) and other such details.

This has got me speculating as to whether not having a social media presence might also reduce one's chances of getting hired.  I could well envision a scenario where a somewhat paranoid potential employer, dismayed at not finding me on any of the key social media sites, assumes that I must have something to hide, and disqualifies me in the interest of erring on the side of caution.

Well, let me say for the record that, if  you have my résumé in hand and you've arrived at this post because you're digging for more info about me and you're put off by my desire for a little privacy in my personal life, I probably don't want to work for you anyway.

Thanks for your Pinterest.

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