Aussie Bosses Are Checking Your Facebook Profile

It's an issue we've discussed around these parts before: can your public social networking profile influence your job chances? A recent survey of Australian bosses by Telstra suggests the answer is yes — but the outcome isn't always negative.

Unsurprisingly, the worst thing you can do in career terms is say something negative about your workplace (which 44 per cent of bosses found a turn-off), followed by discriminatory comments (37 per cent) and inappropriate images (31 per cent). Oddly enough, just 14 per cent of bosses said they would specifically check Twitter, though given its prominence in search results it might well show up anyway if they just search on your name.

With that said, an increasing number of jobs now include online interaction, so being able to demonstrate skills in that area could be helpful. Around a third of the bosses surveyed said they had hired someone after gaining a positive impression of them from their internet activities.

Have you gained or lost or job because of your online behaviour? Tell us about it in the comments.



    So has it come the time to actually ditch FB?
    Or do we need to stfu on line? The proposed idea to only use real names on social media is also an issue for me, at least if you use a Pseudonym you have some privacy!

      And if you want some privacy online, here are a few things I do:

    I wonder if all of this could open up a new can of "Discrimination Law" worms.

      They would have to admit they didn't hire you/fired you because of your profile, which we all know they won't do.

    The good thing about my name is you'll never find me on Facebook. So many fake accounts use it.

    It is a reality. If you don't openly provide links to your social media pages recruiters and employers will check them before hiring you, especially for $80k+ jobs.

    You might like to look at It allows you to link your social networks to a modern online resumé, and its free.

    [disclosure - I'm the founder of]

    Where does that leave those of us that do not have (and have never had) a Facebook profile? Or Twitter? Or any social networking profiles?

    I evaluated the pros and cons of social networking a few years ago and decided that for myself personally, the trade-offs in terms of privacy and security were not worth the benefits. As a result, I do not use any social networking sites.

    I wonder if this would actually count against me? Eg a potential employer looks for my Facebook/Twitter/whatever profile and either a) Is suspicious simply because I don't have one or b) finds a profile of someone with the same name as me, but not me?

      That's the road I took as well. Sometimes I wonder the same thing. Actually, I recently heard that one of my old primary school friends tried looking me up on facebook and found a guy with a similar surname, pulling up his shirt in his profile pic to show off his abs. And now that whole circle of people thinks that is what I have become :P

        Haha, I'm sure this kind of thing happens quite a lot.

        I've had a few times- "Why didn't you respond to my facebook invite to ?"

        After recovering from the shock that a young IT worker doesn't have a facebook account, they then start to wonder who the hell they *did* invite!

      I have facebook, I'm of the thought that even though they do dodgy stuff with the information, I'm a small pea and a very large pod. I am meaningless to the world. So I use it to vent/rant and use it as a soapbox if I so desire.

      Anyway my profile is private and no one but friends can view it. I don't accept work people on my facebook.

    Replying to myself as this comment system stripped out part of my post. It should read:

    I’ve had a few times- “Why didn’t you respond to my facebook invite to insert_random_social_event?”

    So I guess that means 90% of YouTube users have been fired?

    well good luck to my boss looking for my profile i use my nick name on facebook and none at work know it.Besides there's nothing on my facebook that could get me fired

      They couldn't search by your email address?

    Hard for anyone to check what does not exist.... ie: I'm not on these services.

    As others have said already, I wonder of my absolute refusal to have any social networking presence counts aginst me?

    I nearly caved when my brother moved overseas and told us all that facebook was the best way too keep in touch with him. Then I decided f*** it, is it really so hard for him to copy/paste his important news from facebook into an email for those of us without FB? (none of our family are on FB either)


    This can also work in reverse, you can check the facebook profile of your future boss. ;-)

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