Not sure why parents are so irked about what’s on their sons’/daughters’ Facebook pages. They’re just showing potential employers how extroverted and — let’s call it "gregarious" — they can be. The Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting piece on a new study that was actually conducted by the University of Evansville, among others:
Could your Facebook profile be a predictor of job performance?
A new study from Northern Illinois University, the University of Evansville and Auburn University suggests it can.
In an experiment, three "raters"—comprising one university professor and two students—were presented with the Facebook profiles of 56 college students with jobs.
After spending roughly 10 minutes perusing each profile, including photos, wall posts, comments, education and hobbies, the raters answered a series of personality-related questions, such as "Is this person dependable?" and "How emotionally stable is this person?"
Six months later, the researchers matched the ratings against employee evaluations from each of the students’ supervisors. They found a strong correlation between job performance and the Facebook scores for traits such as conscientiousness, agreeability and intellectual curiosity.
Raters generally gave favorable evaluations to students who traveled, had more friends and showed a wide range of hobbies and interests. Partying photos didn’t necessarily count against a student; on the contrary, raters perceived the student as extroverted and friendly, says Don Kluemper, the lead researcher and a professor of management at Northern Illinois University.
The findings show that Facebook could be used as a reliable job-screening tool, he says, especially since candidates would have a hard time "faking" their personalities in front of their friends.
The legality of using social-media sites to screen job applicants is murky, as employers could open themselves up to discrimination lawsuits based on race, gender and religion.
Still looking for a job at a reputable Indiana business? While job searching can be painful and frustrating, there are ways to optimize your ability to land work. Staffing firm Robert Half offers five tips for revitalizing a lengthy job search:
Reconsider the chronological resume. A new format, such as one that highlights skills versus work history, may be more productive.
Invest in new packaging. If an extended search in a particular industry or field isn’t yielding results, focus on how you could repackage your transferable skills for a different industry or type of role.
Switch up your networking. People tend to focus on certain groups or techniques (e.g., using LinkedIn to make connections or attending regular trade association meetings). Look for different groups to join, and new ways to meet people outside of your usual circle.
Get a second opinion. Do you get lots of interviews, but no second calls? Ask a friend with good professionals judgment to give you feedback on your interview performance. Or perhaps your resume hasn’t landed you any interviews. Have a recruiter or trusted friend give you their ideas.
Expand your reach. Some parts of the country are recovering faster than others. If your search isn’t working in a particular area, could you look at a move to a different city? Large staffing firms who have offices nationwide can connect you with jobs outside of your immediate locale.
Communications firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas out of Chicago released an article warning employers to be wary of resume fudgers, especially with so many applicants these days. Here is an excerpt for your company to heed:
As millions of Americans struggle with long-term unemployment, the temptation to stretch the truth on one’s resume to gain a competitive advantage is becoming harder to resist. Some desperate job seekers are going so far as to establish fake references. However, the payoff may not be worth the risk, according to one employment authority.
“There is very little proof that any form of resume boosting directly results in a job interview, much less a job offer. In contrast, there are scores of examples of individuals who have been eliminated from candidacy or fired after a fraudulent resume was uncovered,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., the global outplacement consultancy which provides job-search training and counseling to individuals who have been laid off…
They also added this list:
Top Resume, Interview Fabrications
Education: Listing degree from a school never attended; inflating grade point average and graduate honors; citing degree from online, non-accredited "education" institution.
Job title: Making up a title or boosting actual title by one or more levels in hopes of obtaining better salary offers.
Compensation: Inflating current or previous salary and benefits to secure more money from prospective employer.
Reason for leaving: Saying it was a mass downsizing when the discharge was based on performance; asked to leave, but saying you quit; underplaying or completely hiding poor relationships with superiors.
Accomplishments: Overstating one’s contributions to a team project or company performance; claiming to have received special recognition; exaggerating level of participation in an important aspect of the business.
Oh, the agony of job searches. There’s the time-consuming process of developing a summary of your many accomplishments and attributes (as hours pass, you begin to wonder if you’ll be finished when Haley’s Comet reappears in 2062). Nail-biting interviews also take a toll (sadly, willing the telephone to ring won’t guarantee a job offer). Here’s the good news: Your best weapon in the “job search jungle” is something you have complete control over — your résumé.
But, be aware: typos translate to trouble.
A recent article I saw polled senior executives at the country’s largest companies. Forty percent of respondents revealed they would disqualify candidates who submitted résumés containing grammatical errors.
Talk about having one chance to make a first impression!
The story also revealed some sloppy mistakes that sent the candidate packing:
• Hope to hear from you shorty.
• Have a keen eye for derail.
• I’m attacking my resume for you to review.
• Dear Sir or Madman (this is one of my favorites. Unless you really are applying to work for a madman, this salutation won’t earn you any points.)
Evn if re-reading you’re résumé becomes less appealing than other tasks such as tackling outdoor chores – during a blizzard – give it one last look (did you catch my misspelling of “Even” and "your?”). Otherwise, one mistake could bring it a one-way ticket to a potential employer’s trash can.