Nearly half of the UK’s students panic that information they themselves posted on Facebook will damage their prospects of getting a job, according to a recent poll.
With so many young people unemployed, simply having a job has become a desperate commodity. 42 percent of students are worried that prospective employers will judge them on information online.
Students are particularly wary of Facebook.
A study put together by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and YouGov showed that certain extracurricular activities could look bad with a CV.
And they are right to be worried. At least some employers are likely to have at least a cursory glance at your Facebook before they do you the incredible favour of letting you work for them.
One employer told TechEye prospective employees should be wary of what information is available publicly – as there is a likelihood curious bosses will take a peek.
“I think Facebook has awakened the stalker in all of us, so I would, but that doesn’t mean I’d feel good about it,” they said. “But unless the profile was full of vicious bigotry, I don’t think it would have any effect on my decision in the end. It’s just curiosity. However, I can understand how some employers might be put off, depending on the position. If they are concerned, they should put their security settings up to top whack.”
One student at Goldsmiths University said that she is concerned about what’s available to read online – as it is not exactly what you’d like employers to see.
“I am concerned about being tagged in pictures from parties on Facebook, as it doesn’t show your professional life but your personal life, and you might not want a particular employer to see this,” they told us.
“Of course, you can restrict what people can see so you would try to make sure that you don’t have any pictures of yourself totally drunk.”
Another student at the University of Manchester said that she is not that worried about what information is available online until applying for career jobs:
“When I’m looking for a proper career I’ll be more conscious of what I show,” she told us. “My page is on private and so are my photos but I guess I’d make sure my profile pic is reasonably sensible to give off a good impression.
“And if I had a new boss who added me I would be more particular about putting up statuses. Or maybe put them on a list so they can only see various things!”
The stats, released by the ICO, show that a lot of students need to wake up to privacy. A third of students surveyed who have moved address hadn’t bothered redirecting their snail mail, leaving themselves open to identity theft.
Two thirds also never checked their credit rating, letting suspicious credit applications slip through unnoticed.