Employers Asking for Facebook Passwords: Tips on How to Keep Your Facebook Professional

Imagine you are interviewing for your dream job. You are nailing all the questions. Suddenly, the hiring manager asks for your Facebook password to review your profile.Can’t happen, you think? Think again!

Currently, there is no law prohibiting employers from asking. Maryland has recently taken action to pass a law that would prohibit employers for asking for this personal and private information. Other states, such as New York and California are following in Maryland’s footsteps but what are you supposed to do in the meantime?

There are two things you can do; you can say no and risk losing the opportunity or you can make your social media profiles employer friendly. But even if employers don’t ask for a an in-depth peek inside your Facebook page, they more than likely will check out the publicly available content anyways, so it is better to be safe than sorry. Here are some ways to make your profiles professional to help showcase your skills and who you are.

Privacy Settings:

Take advantage of privacy settings! Privacy settings allow you to control who gets to see what on your profile. Many of us are familiar with Facebook regularly changing their privacy settings. It is smart to stay up-to-date with these new privacy changes to make sure your profile stays protected. The safest thing you can do is to make your profile completely private. You can also, disable search engines from finding your profiles.

Clean up your photos:

A picture is worth a thousand words. Scan through all your photographs and delete the ones that would be considered inappropriate in a typical workplace. One of the top reasons why an employer will reject candidates is for posting inappropriate photographs. You also have to make sure others are not posting inappropriate photographs of you as well. On Facebook, you are able to restrict others from tagging you in photos and status updates. This will help save you from someone posting inappropriate photographs or status updates without your consent.

Choose your words carefully:

Before you utilize the power of free speech on Facebook or any other social media platforms, make sure you watch what you are saying. Many people have lost their jobs for posting about a bad day at work, sharing a company secret or saying how much they hate their boss. Even if your profile is private, you are still posting this information in a public space. Anyone can take a screenshot of your post and share it with others instantly.

Who are your real friends:

It is all about quality over quantity. It is not cool anymore to have a million Facebook friends. Employers will scan through your friend list to see who you affiliate with. Even if you might not hang out with the person with the crazy party pictures, employers will assume you do; why else would you be friends with them on Facebook? Before going on a job search, clean up your friend list to show employers you only affiliate with the right kind of people.

Stay Consistent:

Make sure all your social media sites are updated with your most recent information. Employers will compare your resume to the information that they find online about you. Also, many employers are using LinkedIn and Facebook to find new candidates to fill positions. If your profile is updated with your most recent information and work experience, you might be getting an email from a recruiter without having to send in your resume. On Facebook, you can sign up to expose your profile to recruiters on Simply Hired, BranchOut, or BeKnown by adding the app to your Facebook profile.

Remember: The best rule to follow before you post anything on a social media platform is do not post anything your grandma would not want to see.

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