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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Social Media

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Facebook pictures can cost you a job!
PTI
London, July 24, 2012
First Published: 14:59 IST(24/7/2012)
Last Updated: 15:03 IST(24/7/2012)
Women are the dominant force on both Facebook and Twitter while men rule the roost on Reddit . Photo: AFP/StockLite/Shutterstock.com

Facebook users beware! Having inappropriate pictures on your profile could cost you a job, a new research has found.

Researchers warned of increase in employers checking candidates lifestyle, attitudes and even appearance in photos loaded on Facebook profiles.

In one of the biggest ever studies of the importance of Facebook profiles among job hunters, American scientists found that employees increasingly use the social networking site to weed out unsuitable candidates, the Daily Mail reported.

"While employers are using Facebook to monitor their employees, they have also begun to use it as a screening tool when considering potential candidates," said Vanessa de la Llama of the Florida International University in North Miami.

However, the lack of guidelines means many firms simply follow their own judgement of just how bad your Facebook profile pictures are.

"Because this is a fairly new trend, a standardized set of guidelines has yet to be established, with employers often assessing job applicants in a subjective manner," said Llama, who led the research.

The research team interviewed representatives from the areas of information technology, healthcare and wellness, education, law enforcement, food and drink, travel, advertising and suggest that their findings shed light on a growing trend.

They hope to raise the ethical questions for debate surrounding whether or not employers should be using Facebook and other social networks to screen candidates.

"The question of whether employers are providing job candidates with equal opportunities if they are assessing on-line "image" prior to interviewing candidates must be raised," they said in the report.

"Of course, it is possible that one's Facebook activity is a perfectly acceptable window on to one's personality."

Facebook itself has already said that the practice, which has been documented at several American organisations, is a violation of its terms of use and could potentially lead to legal action.


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