By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – We’ve often heard that inappropriate social media posts can quickly derail a job search. Now new research suggests that for some people, their Facebook profile may actually help them get a job. It is a concept that may have people re-thinking their privacy settings if they are job-hunting.

Emerson college social media expert Dave Gerzof Richard tells his students to keep their profiles public when they are looking for a job. “They should look at their Facebook account as an extension of their resume,” he said.

A recent study out of Northern Illinois University found that recruiters can get a fairly accurate idea of a candidate’s personality from their Facebook page. The findings suggest that Facebook activity may even be a reliable predictor of how successful a candidate may be in a particular job. “Facebook, more than any other social media property, really does show your true colors,” Gerzof Richard explained.

The researchers found candidates who post a lot of personal information on Facebook tend to be agreeable, trusting and able to get along with others. Favorite books or quotations could reveal a candidate’s intellectual curiosity or creativity. Researchers also found that people with a lot of friends or frequent posts tend to be outgoing and well-connected.

Gerzof Richard believes even small things can reveal a lot to a potential employer. “If there’s a lot of typos, this person might not be very careful with the work they do,” he said.

Tracy Cashman is a recruiter with Winter-Wyman in Waltham. She points out that while mistakes or inappropriate posts can get you into trouble, you don’t want to be too careful. “You don’t want to have too vanilla a profile; you will seem like a vanilla person,” she said.

What is worse, according to Cashman, is no profile at all. “It can lead to questions of how connected they are, how communicative, how collaborative,” she said.

Both Cashman and Gerzof Richard agree, if you are job hunting, your Facebook should be an open book. “They should have it prepared in the expectation that once they do apply that the employer will do their due diligence and look at the social media properties,” he said.

Comments (4)
  1. Donna Legere says:

    I seen the story about how facebook can help you get a job. I’ve been married for 23 years and facebook ruined my marriage. My husband left me for another woman of lives in Canada which is also where my husband is from. We have a daughter who is 13 years of age, and a son who is 24 years. I am a woman hurt by FACEBOOK!.

  2. K says:

    “Although some employers might attempt to focus on job-related social networking information, there is also non-job-relevant information that could be used inappropriately for evaluating applicants”
    “We suggest that SNW-based personality assessment may provide a useful tool for organizational research, but only if further validation research is conducted and consideration of legal risks fully considered.”
    source if the original research here

  3. K says:

    I apologize for posting again so quickly but while I am mostly apolitical I think that the republicans I work for would not be very understanding of the few liberal post I have made, I will be keeping my facebook profile very private.

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