What If a Potential Employer Wants to See Your Facebook Page?

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I recently heard about an individual applying for a job who was asked by the hiring manager to bring up his Facebook page. The individual was shocked, but did so because he wasn’t sure how to refuse.
What would you do if this happened to you? Does an employer even have the right to ask this, especially when Facebook is supposed to be something you only allow your “friends,” or people you have approved, to see? Perhaps not. But if you say no, are you improving or hurting your chances for getting the job?
Here are some suggestions for how to cope if you find yourself in this bind:
1. Create a fan page that is purely business and bring that up.
2. Make sure you only put information on Facebook that portrays you in a positive and professional light (however, you can’t control what a friend might post).
3. Say you don’t have a Facebook page (although they may search for you).
4. State you would be glad to bring up your LinkedIn or Zoom or Google profile instead as that is business related.
5. State that Facebook is like a diary, something to be opened only by people with authorization
6. Ask them to bring their page up and then search for you.
Regardless of what you decide, this discussion shows the importance of keeping a professional and positive online identity, something we have discussed in previous articles. Never underestimate what employers or others can learn about you through the internet.
Also, don’t forget to revisit your privacy settings on Facebook. When I searched for myself, I realized Facebook showed my profile picture, my business, but also pictures of some of my friends. I reset my privacy settings to hide my friends. This protects them and also keeps someone from then searching my friends to find even more personal information.
This is a guest post from our friends at Excelle. Excelle is the premier online community for female professionals in the United States. Empower yourself with high-quality content relating to workplace issues and career advancement. Forge connections and network with other working women in our interactive forums. Join our community of intelligent, highly-motivated career women here: excelle.monster.com.

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