Even though LinkedIn is designed as the “professional” social media alternative to Facebook, that doesn’t mean that employers aren’t using Facebook to research potential candidates. In fact, CMS Wire says that a study by Harris Interactive shows that more employers use Facebook to perform background checks on perspective employees than use LinkedIn.
Overall, it appears that social media networks in general are becoming popular places for employers to look into the lives of job seekers, with 45 percent of all HR professionals who responded to the survey saying they have used social media sites as research tools for background checks and another 11 percent saying they plan to incorporate social media searches “in the very near future.”
Of all social media sites, Facebook was the most searched at 29 percent with LinkedIn at 26 percent. MySpace was third at 21 percent, with resources such as blogs, personal home pages or Twitter coming in far behind. The moral of the story seems to be that if you are looking for a job, you might want to take a look at your social media pages and get rid of any incriminating or embarrassing evidence.
– Richard Manfredi