Could staying off Facebook harm your career?

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Choosing not to have a Facebook profile could cost you a job. There has been plenty said about how doing the wrong thing on social networking sites could scupper your chances of being recruited. Some people have avoided the sites altogether just to be on the safe side.

However, this approach could backfire, because recruiters are suspicious of people without a social networking profile.
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The claims

German magazine Der Taggspiegel is claiming that HR recruiters in the US are rejecting candidates who don't have a social networking profile, because they consider it to be suspicious and are concerned that they may be hiding something.
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It quoted a psychologist who said that refusing to join the network could be a sign of deeper underlying problems. And controversially it drew parallels with the face that James Holmes, accused of mass murder in a Colorado cinema, had no Facebook account.

Facebook in recruitment

Clearly Facebook is increasingly becoming part of the recruitment process. There are plenty of major organisations who use everything from LinkedIn to Twitter in their talent searches.

Meanwhile, a survey by Jobvite found that Nearly 3 out of 4 recruiters check candidates' social profiles – 48% always do so, even if they are not provided. It discovered that they are on the look out for positives, such as membership of professional organisations - as well as negatives such as references to use of drugs or alcohol consumption, profanity or posts of a sexual nature. Meanwhile 54% were put off by spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Storm in a teacup

However, Dee Dee Doke, editor of the Recruiter magazine is unconvinced. She says: "LinkedIn is much more of a potential issue for recruiters because your credentials and who you are is laid out there. I have not come across any recruiters who would be concerned if someone was not on Facebook."

She says it is far more of a concern is where a candidate does not have a web presence at all. She adds: "It wouldn't give rise to concerns about your psychological health, but if you are not anywhere online then it would seem as though you haven't done anything significant or anything that would make you stand out in a crowd."

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