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What If a Potential Employer Wants to See Your Facebook Page?

What If a Potential Employer Wants to See Your Facebook Page?

Renee Weisman | Excelle

I recently heard about an individual applying for a job who was asked by the hiring manager to bring up his Facebook page. The individual was shocked, but did so because he wasn’t sure how to refuse.

What would you do if this happened to you? Does an employer even have the right to ask this, especially when Facebook is supposed to be something you only allow your “friends," or people you have approved, to see? Perhaps not. But if you say no, are you improving or hurting your chances for getting the job?

Here are some suggestions for how to cope if you find yourself in this bind:

1. Create a fan page that is purely business and bring that up.

2. Make sure you only put information on Facebook that portrays you in a positive and professional light (however, you can’t control what a friend might post).

3. Say you don’t have a Facebook page (although they may search for you)

4. State you would be glad to bring up your LinkedIn or Zoom or Google profile instead as that is business related.

5. State that Facebook is like a diary, something to be opened only by people with authorization

6. Ask them to bring their page up and then search for you.

But what is the right answer? I’d like to continue this discussion on Excelle Let me know what you think.

Regardless, this discussion shows the importance of keeping a professional and positive online identity, something we have discussed in previous articles. Never underestimate what employers or others can learn about you through the internet.

Also, don’t forget to revisit your privacy settings on Facebook. When I searched for myself, I realized Facebook showed my profile picture, my business, but also pictures of some of my friends. I reset my privacy settings to hide my friends. This protects them and also keeps someone from then searching my friends to find even more personal information.

What’s Your Perfect Excuse?

Related Reads:
Social Networking and Your Job: Lessons from the “Cisco Fatty”
Keeping Your Online Identity Professional
8 Technology Etiquette Tips for Job-Seekers
…and more job hunting resources!

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  • Don_image_max50


    almost 3 years ago


    There's now a great solution for employers who have been asking for Facebook passwords in order to obtain additional information about potential employees. Any job seeker can now give prospective Employers their PEP (Potential Employee Profile) Code instead of their Facebook password. Their FREE PEP Code can be entered at: and it enables employers to get the additional information they seek. This enables job seekers to post additional information they want employers to know, that is usually not found on resumes. More info at:

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    I think it's a bit out of line for a boss to demand you show your facebook page. However, if you have nothing to hide, then there shouldn't be a problem, right?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Everybody is talking about posts that maybe embarrassing, illegal, or unprofessional, but (from what I have read) no one has addressed the fact that it is illegal for an employer to ask certain questions in an interview. These include family status, religion, place of birth etc. Considering that this is information that just about everyone has on their page, it would be an easy way for an employer to get around the law While it would be hard to prove that an interviewer didn't hire someone due to this information, I would think an employer would want to be careful about asking to see a social networking page, because it could lead them open to a discrimination lawsuit. I suppose a way to get around showing your social networking page would be to state that there is information regarding marital status , which you know to be illegal questions to ask in an interview, however, I suspect that would cost you the job too.

  • Me_007aa_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Well, the real question here is, “Is something you post on the internet private?” Of course not. What part of internet is dedicated to privacy? The part where nothing is posted.

    If you do not want your potential boss to see your needless rantings or picture of you half naked, DON’T POST IT! If you want to preserve what little privacy you have, DON’T POST IT!

    I have to disagree with a previous post by DHKlien regarding your boss (potential or current) looking you up on FB or even asking you to pull it up, “…that's like your potential boss coming over to your house and rummaging through your medicine chest,…” On the contrary, having ANY social site is like bringing your medicine chest and dirty laundry and throwing it on your boss’ desk for them to rummage through at their leisure.

    I think it is reasonable and very much legal for any potential employer to ask you if you have any social sites or even look up there potential employee’s internet image. Because, I can guarantee I will be looking for anything I can find posted regarding the company I am interviewing with. If it’s out there and I find it, it’s public domain.

    Privacy is not automatically preserved. It is only reserved for those who consciously preserve it. Our privacy is continuously being chipped away. Funny thing is, those doing the chipping away are not those wanting to take away your rights. It is those willingly giving up their privacy without consciously realizing the potential harm they commit.

    Just remember, if you do not want ANY one person knowing something, DON’T POST IT!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 5 years ago

    I agree that I do not want my boss to be on a non-professional social site like Facebook. Although if it were brought up I probably would not know how to respond. I try to put positive thigs on mine even if I feel like venting. But I think everyone has things like that out there somewhere so that might take a little pressure off.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    I thought about lying about not having FB but then the potential boss can do a search later and finds out that you in fact do have a FB account. So I for this reason I think it's bad to lie about it. How about "my FB is personal and I would rather not share it in at my place of work"?

    Also, I think you can create another second account where you can connect with other professionals, co-workers, etc. Strictly business. So you can show your potential boss this one. (For the other account I guess you can modify the name a little so it's doesn't come up when the boss searches using your real name)

  • Me_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    IMO, that's like your potential boss coming over to your house and rummaging through your medicine chest, or disapproving of the number of wine bottles in your recycling, or criticizing your taste in movies, etc. Years ago, before Facebook, you could go to work, do your job, then go out with your friends and get shitfaced. And you could say a word like "shitfaced" and your boss didn't need to know you have a potty mouth. As long as you don't curse at work, what you do in private is your business. Now the problem is that FB is private for some...but it's also public. It's all there on the screen...verbal and pictorial proof of how you live your life. I think the best compromise is the suggestion that you tightly control who sees your FB page. I like to keep mine for friends and relatives, and I'm choosy about who I add. If a coworker asks to be added, I tell them that my page is for me to share photos of my kids with relatives and old friends who live far away. Not the whole truth, but a part of the truth. Then I suggest to my coworker that we eat lunch together and chat instead, "Why interact online when we can see each other in person?" That usually deflects people.

  • 9320_1233691758745_1122693136_30740877_622070_n_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    i would not bring it up and i would not want to work for someone who was that nosy. facebook is well known as a social networking page and to have to have it "ready" in case a potential employer wants to see it is inappropriate. i would say i would be happy to have you take a look once you hire me.

  • Sara_max50


    about 5 years ago


    I agree with allot of these comments on here and like the suggestions made on this topic. I would agree that people use Facebook as a social network with friends and family and it would be smart to have this protected. It's also smart to have a professional profile page as a back up. Facebook allows for personal information that have nothing to do with your performance at your job or your professional image you hold with your company, like politics, religion, and recreation.

  • Afro_max50


    over 5 years ago


    Why would an employer bring up something like that? In my opinion, sites like MySpace and Facebook are used professionally if the individual sets up their page for professional use to promote their business. Others are looking to make friends and keep in touch with those friends and family. If you do not act professional around your family, why must you put on that mask in an online profile that was meant to be social? That's just my opinion.

  • Ladonna_hatcliff_max50


    over 5 years ago


    I truly think employers do not have the right to do searches on anyone. I use facebook mostly to keep in contact with friends as well as several other sites and we can't control what our friends say. For example, I have a friend that talks about how she got drunk the night before and has one night stands. Even though I am not like that, she is and I do not judge her. However, a potential employer would probably think I would be that way. Like you said, we can't control what our friends post. I will take your advice on setting up a new account and hiding my friends.
    Thank you!

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