June 18, 2018

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To Tell or Not to Tell

We all know what you need to do to get ready for your next interview. You need to research the job and the hiring company, be prepared for those behavioral interview questions, job skills etc. Now, there’s another thing you need to be prepared for and this question is coming up more and more. Interviewers are actually asking for your Facebook login information.

For years, employers have used background checks and even credit checks as screening tools. But now, as social media has become such in integral part of our daily life, employers are aggressively searching the internet for information on prospective employees as a means of protecting themselves. Employers are not obligated for the most part to explain why a candidate gets rejected. Any red flags that come up in their searches could wind up being the reason the applicant gets passed over. It could be any number of things: age, lifestyle, politics, affiliations, to name just a few. Are you comfortable with what they’ll find? Try doing a Google search on your name and see what comes up in the search results. Good? Bad? Ugly?

So what do you do if you have a Facebook profile and are asked for your password? The real question is whether or not you want to work for a company the demands to look through the window into your private life. It would be easy to say of course not, but what if you really need the job financially? If you are worried this could happen to you, take another look at what you have posted from an outside point of view and look for things that might trip up your chances of getting hired or be potentially embarrassing to friends or family. A possible alternative is if you have not already done so, create a LinkedIn account. This is the largest professional network and a great way to connect with other members in your field. You can suggest the interviewer take a look at this profile instead.

This is an on-going discussion and some states and organizations are trying to put legislation in place banning this practice including the ACLU.

- Jean Vosler

Jean is the Director of Marketing and Communication for, a leading online job board.

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