Don't let Facebook blow your job hopes

Posted by Richard Catlin in Credit Check on 1 October 2008 - Richard is Marketing Director at checkmyfile.

As the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook continues to grow, so does the trend of employers utilising them to filter potential candidates.

Available through an ever-increasing variety of technology, including mobile phones, Facebook allows millions of people in the UK to share their photos, news, and even political views with their community of friends.

What many Facebook users don’t know, is that an estimated 1 in 4 employers regularly use social networking sites to check out potential employees and use this information to help make a final decision about who gets the job.

Even more – an estimated 60% - admit to ‘Googling’ candidates in an attempt to get the best person for job and discover any unwanted news before sending out an offer letter.

This is similar to the growing practice of people using publicly available information to check out potential partners – known as Google-stalking.

Although some groups claim that it is a violation of privacy, checking potential job candidates through social networking sites can simply be viewed as a logical step as a back-up to the traditional checks made before formally offering employment.

It is not common knowledge that an employer is often legally obliged to run a check on an individual’s public credit file as part of the selection process. Adverse information on a credit file could see the chances of employment go up in smoke.

Whilst this practice mainly occurs in jobs in the financial sector, it is increasingly being used in other occupations. Landlords, too, carry out a similar check before letting a flat to a tenant.

Landlords and employers only see that part of a credit file that is based on ‘public information’. You can check your own public information credit file online only with checkmyfile by choosing to base your checkmyfile credit file and analysis based on Experian data.

You would then see exactly what a potential employer or landlord would see – not the most comprehensive credit report available – but a subset. If you want to see your entire credit file as seen by the UK’s largest lenders, choose your checkmyfile credit file analysis based on data from Callcredit or Equifax instead.

Click here to compare what’s on the range of checkmyfile credit files.

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