Can Not Being on Facebook Cost You Money?

If you’re a job seeker, there are many ways in which you must impress a prospective employer.  It could involve looking good on paper – with your resume – and being polished in person.  Substance matters, but in many highly competitive fields, the right image matters as well.

Or, in some cases, making sure that you don’t portray the wrong image.

A while back, we discussed the topic of job search email addresses, and how one that is “uncool” could create a poor perception of you.  For those with seriously old-school providers, it could make such folks seem a bit old-school and dated themselves.  Not necessarily fair, and maybe not even relevant, but that’s how things go sometimes.

Now, there is chatter out there about how not having a Facebook profile could negatively influence someone’s chances to get a job.  We’re not talking about having the wrong pictures out on Facebook, making a poor impression about a person as a serious professional.  Rather, based on this piece from Moneyland, we’re talking about making a bad impression by not having a Facebook profile in the first place!

I found this to be interesting.  Personally, I don’t think having an account or not is relevant to most jobs. Sure, it might be for someone actively working in social media, digital marketing, or the like.  But for most jobs out there, does it really matter? No.

However, it seems like not having an account is tantamount to be anti-social, or not well-adjusted.  Or, based on the views of some, perhaps an indication that the candidate might be trying to hide something.  These are the perceptions that seem to be out there with some.

So, if Facebook isn’t someone’s thing, maybe it’s worthwhile to consider the potential financial ramifications of not having an account.  I’m half-serious here, but it’s a mix of rolling my eyes at this on the one hand, and actually strongly considering this on the other hand.  Maybe this is where things really are today.

Glad I have an account, even though I try to limit my time on it :)

My Questions for You

What do you think of this notion of not being on Facebook as a negative for job seekers?

If you were hiring someone, would you care whether or not they have a Facebook account?

Could you truly see this mattering in the industry in which you work?

Comments

  1. says

    I work in Human Resources and frankly, I’d be more inclined to want to hire somebody who doesn’t have Facebook. But I don’t care one way or the other.

  2. says

    I’m stuck in ‘rolling my eyes’ mode. Unless one plans to work in social media or the like, I hate to think the absence of a Facebook account would affect job prospects, but I guess I wouldn’t be shocked if such were the case.

    I’ll sound like an old fuddy-duddy here, but remember when what you actually know, your experience, and your attitude and work ethic mattered more than personal branding in getting a job? :)

  3. says

    This actually makes a lot of sense to me. I had not considered it before, but I could see how someone without a Facebook might look like they are “not a team player” and would not mesh well with a company’s culture.

    I don’t think I would make an HR decision based on this, but it is an interesting perspective.

    • Squirrelers says

      Eric – that’s about how I took it, it’s an interesting perspective but not one I’d make an hiring decision from in most cases.

  4. says

    Well, I think this is dumb. So I am stuck on eye roll. I deleted my personal account the best I could once I started becoming a little known as a blogger. I didn’t want to deal with stalker-like Facebook stuff.

    If I was hiring someone, I wouldn’t even look to see if they had a FB account or not…that is how little I care. And yes, having a FB account as a blogger is really important but that’s the only reason I would bother at this point. :-)

    • Squirrelers says

      Crystal – oh I undestand that many if not most of us wouldn’t check. The thing is, it looks like some companies do check and care!

  5. says

    I could see this being the case many years down the road, but I think it’s far too early to form an impression that great candidates equals facebook account. However, the more, real way in which Facebook matters is in networking. It’s a powerful way to stay in contact with your professional network. Those without it, might find it harder to keep up to date and in touch. I may also be harder to activate your network when you need something.

    • Squirrelers says

      JP – astute observations. I can see how it could help with networking purposes, including quickly activating it when needed.

  6. says

    I doublecheck people on facebook when they apply for jobs, and depending on what I find, their facebook accounts sometimes negatively or positively affect their chances at an interview. Not having an account however does not affect their chances whatsoever because I either assume they’re bright enough to have figured out their privacy settings, or they’re just not on it. I’m not bothered with either one, it’s having the bad stuff out there in public that affects their chances.

    • Squirrelers says

      Andrea,

      That actually makes the most sense, having bad stuff out there being the issue. I would think that having an account vs. not having one shouldn’t matter for most postions, except some to which I alluded in the post.

  7. says

    We’re in hiring mode, and frankly I hadn’t even thought to go back and check candidates’ Facebook profiles. I sometimes refer to LinkedIn, but that’s mostly an online resume service.
    I’ve given some thought to deleting my own personal Facebook page, since I’m on there so rarely.

  8. says

    I don’t care one way or the other about facebook. I like to hire the person and don’t need a site to check them out first. I know what questions to ask to filter out that info. Plus people are entitled to their private lives as long as they act professional at work.

    • Squirrelers says

      Miss T – agreed that people are entitled to their own lives outside of work. Like blogging, for example :)

  9. says

    Unless you work in social media, I wouldn’t think this would be a deal breaker for any (reasonable) person. Plenty of people are on FB but have their account locked down so tightly that they’re not searchable.

    I work in media, and so it does throw me when I google someone in the industry, or the name of someone who’s coming to intern with us, and I don’t find anything online. If not twitter or a portfolio, at least LinkedIn! I don’t pay much attention to Facebook though.

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