Today, more and more potential employers are curious to see what you have going on your Facebook and other social media sites. The reason is that these sites reveal the real you and that is something employers want to know about before they hire you. They are looking for any red flags, especially drugs, alcohol, and lying. These sites say a lot about a person's character.


A study that was published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology indicates that employers actually hire people to go through potential employees Facebook pages to see if they have any information on there that may suggest they would not be a good candidate for a job.


These people are to base an opinion of the potential prospect based only on the way that they promote themselves on social media. They are to look at photos, conversations, and their status updates. They are also to look for positive traits such as emotional stability, thoroughness, sociability, academic interest, problem solving, and affability. They were to spend no more than ten minutes viewing each Facebook profile.


As part of the study, the 500 possible employers were contacted several months later but just over 50 responded but it was fascinating how many of the prospect employers were spot on with their employability calculations based on what was seen on Facebook.


Some of the things that will turn an employer off are mood swings, people that are too emotional in their posts, posts about drugs and alcohol or sexual promiscuity. Believe it or not, employers are not turned off by someone that has tons of Facebook friends and has a lot of silly pictures posted. To employers, these are signs of friendliness and extroversion. One thing that is standing in the way is the number of Facebook pages that have restricted profiles.


This method is also being used by more colleges who want to better predict a student's academic potential. Many believe that this is a better route to take then by accessing student transcripts when going through the application process.


There are a number of ethical and legal ramifications that must be considered about stalking someone's social media pages, the main one being discrimination. This issue will continue to rise as more and more employers are using Facebook as a professional tool. In the meantime, employers will use what they find on Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Pinterest to determine if they like you or not. The only way around it, for now, is to make your pages accessible to friends only.


Cheryl Hinneburg is the content writer for KLEAN Treatment Center, located in West Hollywood CA. She is also working on her MS in substance abuse counseling. Cheryl has a BBA from Baker College. Cheryl's specialty is in the field of drug addiction.