Q. A friend thinks I should delete my Facebook account since I’m looking for work and there may be some activity that could keep me from getting a job. Do employers really Google me? I’m starting to wonder if they even look at my resume, so I find it hard to believe they care to go through all the effort of a deep background search.
A. It all comes down to the specific employer. Some people deliberately avoid conducting searches like that for fear of learning information that they know they can’t legally use to deny you employment. If they ultimately decide not to hire you, they’d rather there be no question as to the reason for the decision. On the other hand, hiring somebody can be a very risky thing for an employer. There are costs associated with training, and they may be introducing a new element to a team that is currently functioning well. It’s hard to predict whether that will be an improvement or will break the team. For this reason employers use all kinds of screening such as background checks, reference checks and Internet searches so that they can make as informed a decision as possible. What you or your friends publish about you on sites like Facebook may well impact your employability, so you should be careful about your online impression in the same way you'd be careful about proof reading your resume or selecting appropriate interview clothes. You may be able to adjust your privacy settings rather than deleting your social media accounts, but it’s absolutely something you should actively manage.