I was looking for a former colleague the other day on Facebook and lo and behold I found him! Before asking to “friend” him I looked at his profile, and discovered that he was married, and listed his wife’s Facebook page. Apparently you can easily do that with Facebook.

Out of curiosity I clicked on his wife’s page which was totally available to the public, including all her photos, comments, private life, and even details of a recent doctor’s visit. I was concerned. Not only for her health, but for the career health of her husband. What if he’s looking for a new job? Employers can and will find this information. What most people don’t realize is that HR Directors are wondering “how many people are we going to have to insure with this hire?” along with any other related health issues, etc. Facebook is not the place to be posting your biopsy results.

According to a recent Workforce Management magazine article titled “Five Trends in Employee Screening,” there is more scrutiny by employers of social networking sites. This article was not posted online, so I don’t have a link.

Don’t let the “privacy” button on Facebook fool you either. You can still be tagged in photos, and comments made to your friend’s pages can be made public.

In short: Don’t put anything in writing you wouldn’t want published on the front page of a national newspaper. Because in today’s transparent world, that is essentially what you are doing.

Best to you in your job search!

–Susan Geary / 1st Rate Resumes