Facebook pages can make or break job hunt - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Facebook pages can make or break job hunt

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After this weekend, thousands of Texas Tech graduates look to start their careers, but could their college Facebook get in the way?

45% of the employers surveyed by Career Builder in 2009 say they'll look at your Facebook page to back up or add to your paper resume.

That can be a good or bad thing for those searching for work, depending on what you share.

Social media sites like Facebook started as a way to get connected. Labor experts like Martin Aguirre at Workforce Solutions say your page can make or break your job hunt.

"1 in 5 employers and some say as high as 1 in 3 employers actually use social media to determine whether they have a qualified candidate," said Aguirre.

Some say they rarely think about what others could be posting on their profile page. "When you're out with your friends, Facebook is also hindsight. You don't think about what's going to be on there the next day, or that your boss is checking it," said Texas Tech graduate Kayln Pearson.

Others have restricted their privacy settings to avoid their online friends from posting comments. "I've actually customized mine so only certain people can write things on my wall, just for the certain fact that some of my friends will write inappropriate things," Kayli Jackson said.

Career Builder's 2009 study shows that of employers that use Facebook, 35% say they won't hire a candidate because of an inappropriate page.

Texas Tech Graduate Zach Garza just got a job outside of San Antonio. He went through over a dozen interviews. Facebook came up on one of them.

"He asked me, ‘If I looked on your Facebook, what kind of things would I see, what kind of things would I find about Zach Garza?'"

We checked. A Facebook search for Zach Garza turned up nothing. His privacy settings shut out anyone who isn't a friend.

Too much security may limit opportunity. According to the same study, almost 20% of managers hired an employee based on their Facebook page.

"It's like fishing. The more lines you put out the more opportunity you have to catch something," Aguirre said.

Pearson let us check out her public Facebook profile. She was surprised that her photo-sharing settings weren't as strict as she thought.

Career Builder's study breaks down employers greatest concerns (CLICK_HERE)

"Make some changes to your profile. As you evolve, your profile has to evolve with you," Aguirre reminded those looking for jobs.

As for Garza, he'll continue to separate business from social media.

"My friends aren't interested in the places I've worked in the past 8 years and my prospective employers aren't interested in what I'm doing Saturday night."

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