5 Things Employers Look at While Screening Your Facebook Profile

Like it or not, many employers screen your Facebook profile during the interview process. A recent CareerBuilder survey of 2,300 hiring managers found that 37 percent check up on candidates' social media profiles and use that information to help inform their final decisions. While this figure is down from previous years -- in 2010, it was 50 percent -- there's never been a better time than now for jobseekers to conduct a profile audit. Here are five points to consider while doing so.

  • Professional appearance. Sixty-five percent of hiring managers admitted that they used Facebook profile audits to measure how professionally candidates present themselves. Pick tasteful profile and cover photos, and use privacy settings and friend lists to hide any photos that might put you out of the running for that management position you've had your eye on for weeks.
  • Cultural fit. If your prospective employer has a well-known company culture, play up complementary personality attributes in your profile. Over half of the CareerBuilder survey respondents said that they look for cues that could indicate a good fit for the office culture. Those who apply to activity-oriented companies like Lululemon or Nike, for example, could use public-facing parts of their profile to highlight their interest in sports and other athletic pursuits.
  • Well-rounded personality. Thirty-five percent of hiring managers said that they look at Facebook profiles to measure how well-rounded a candidate is. Accordingly, Facebook profiles that only show off a single aspect of your personality may make you look one-dimensional to a stranger.
  • Job qualifications. Don't forget to include your professional qualifications -- 51 percent of respondents indicated that they zero in on this portion of your Facebook profile.
  • Anything else that can hurt your chances. While only 12 percent of respondents admitted that they looked for reasons not to hire someone, it's easy to tweak your profile so as not to include some of the top things on their radar, such as inappropriate photos, evidence of drug use or drinking, lackluster communication skills, racist or discriminatory remarks, or insulting a former employer.

Have you tweaked your Facebook profile to improve your chances of landing a dream job?

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(Photo credit: West McGowan/Flickr)

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