You know the drill. When you you are looking for a new job, you spend hours preparing your resume, getting all the details just right, proofreading the final product, and printing out copies or e-mailing them to prospective employers.
But employers these days don't just view your resume as a means to determine whether you're the right candidate – they also check out your social media presence.
In a recent survey, 56 percent of those responding said when they hire, they check out social media sites looking for information on potential employees. Twenty-seven percent said they'd do this, but were uncomfortable with the idea of a potential employer looking them up on social sites.
Employers sometimes look at social media sites for the presence of their current employees as well. One such case of this was when Aflac checked out those famous tweets by the voice of their duck in TV commercials, Gilbert Gottfried, who had tweeted some callous commentary after Japan's earthquake disaster. Gottfried was "relieved of his duties" by the company as a result.
Other famous incidents of social media karma come back to haunt included former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who tweeted pictures of his groin to a woman he met on Craigslist. In April 2009, two Domino's Pizza employees posted video of themselves adding mucus and intestinal gas to pizzas they were preparing.
If you are looking for a job, check out your social media presence with a careful eye, looking for anything that could cost you a potential job offering. If you're an employer, be careful when perusing social media used by employees or potential employees. Misuse of social media could result in accusations of discrimination or unfair dismissal.
Employers should consider drafting and adopting a clearly-stated policy on use of social networking sites in recruitment and with current employees.