What Might Your Facebook Profile Reveal About Your Job Performance?

What can your employer predict about your job performance by looking at your Facebook profile? A lot, according to a joint study by researchers at Auburn University, Northern Illinois University and the University of Evansville.

5600215736_b6d0ac73a9_zIn the study, four trained "raters" poked around the profiles of 56 working students, grading their levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness. Six months later, they got performance reviews from these participants' supervisors and compared the data. Researchers found a "strong correlation" between higher personality-trait ratings and favorable performance reviews.

Why are users' Facebook profiles more reliable indicators of professional potential than, say, IQ tests or similar standardized tests? It comes down to authenticity, explained Donald Kluemper, one of the study's lead researchers, to the Baltimore Sun:

"I think one of the differences is that you change the frame of reference. You're asking the rater, 'Is this person a hard worker?' On a personality test, the employee would be asked, 'How hard a worker are you?' One of the criticisms of self-reporting personality testing is that it can be faked. On a Facebook page, that's a lot harder to do.

Kluemper acknowledged that more studies need to be done to definitively link Facebook profile content to future job performance. What do you think of the study's implications on job recruiting?

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