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Can social profiles get you hired or fired?

I'm going to attend a speech context next Thur., and the title of which goes like: From Campus To Career: Social Profiles Can Get You Hired or Fired. Frankly speaking I don't get it. Specifically, I don't undersand what does the phrase "social profiles" mean. Since I'm only a college freshman, this may be a little bit too far for me.

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    Mar 24 2013: Hi PY!

    I work at a global media agency & below are my thoughts on social profiles. Hopes this helps you on your project!

    Getting Hired
    Yes, social profiles are now very important to the hiring process (in most fields) as the information that you can glean from a social profile is richer than that of a Resume / CV
    - For instance, a CV maybe built up of statements about you but within a social profile (e.g. LinkedIn) people can endorse your skills to back up what you have stated
    - Also, potential recruiters can see who you are 'connected' to within your job sector, indicating how popular and experienced you are in your field instantly to them

    Just through having a social profile you can see nearly everyone else's within the network. This is very useful when attending interviews as it allows you to research your interviewers and see if you have anything in common with regards to background or friends / colleagues. This can be invaluable when trying to strike a bond / begin a work relationship

    Getting Fired
    I work for GroupM, the largest Advertising Network in the world. We have a social code of conduct that explains that in the social realm, you cannot portray the company you work for in a bad light as it is detrimental to your employers
    - Thus, if you have a bad day at work and moan about your boss and the company / state you're going to look for another job this could easily get you fired

    We're currently interviewing and we will check both applicants professional profiles (LinkedIn) and personal profiles (Facebook) to see if they would be suitable / fit in at our company
    - In saying that if we see something we don't like, they'll be 'fired' before they even get the chance to be 'hired'

    Just to conclude, teachers tend to employ techniques to maintain personal social profiles, but keep them well 'hiidden' from their students, e.g. Sometimes they replace their last name with their middle name

    Any questions, let me know!

    • Mar 25 2013: Very thoughtful and persuasive perspective. Thanks a lot!
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        Mar 25 2013: Hi PK!

        No worries. I work in the media industry so social media is something that we think a lot about.

        Let me know if you have any questions and good luck with your project. Sounds like fun!

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    Mar 21 2013: PY, I wiould not say that a social profile could get you hired ... but look at what could go wrong. Say you chat way to freely about a classified project ... or discuss the reason you were fired from your last job .... discuss the personal lives of other employees .... discuss your supervisors and bosses in negative manner .... discuss partying and personal encounters that show you in a bad light ..... There are plenty of other negative factors that we could both include that would not be complementary or seen as recommendations.

    Many people are of the opinion that what they do on their own time is their business. Most companies have a morals clause. If your actions as a employee reflect poorly on the company then you will be dismissed. This will be a part of your contract and it will be enforced if you sign on with the company. Like it or not the government and most big firms have access to most of the information in our lives and "Big Brother" is watching.

    There are a lot of people who want the job you are seeking. The company can put up a lot of filters. They have choices if you are seen as less than desirable you are eliminated from the selection pool.

    Good luck. Bob.
    • Mar 21 2013: Thank you for your generous help, my understandings of this particular issue have become more and more profound and unique. You hit the point Robert, a person's overall social profiles can't reflect his/her working abilities, such as efficiency and accuracy, meanwhile, it is an important criterion concerning the person's morals and maybe loyalty to his/her company.
      Anyway, this kind of issue varies from company to company.
  • Mar 19 2013: Mr. Yuan, first, don't discount yourself - being "only a college freshman" is actually an outstanding accomplishment. Many people WANT to be a 'college freshman,' but don't get the grades in high-school, or make the necessary effort. OK, with that said, your professor is most likely thinking of the social media sites like FaceBook, Linkedin, MySpace, twitter, Pinterest, etc. And the question beneath the topic title is most likely asking about positive or negative postings on "private" social sites and their interplay with business professionals looking to employ those individuals. Some college students post friendly pictures of weekend activities that may or may not sit well with prospective employers. And some employed individuals also post friendly pictures of weekend activities that may or may not sit well with their current employers. As an Adjunct Professor and an HR executive, I can tell you I've never fired someone for a social media site posting, but I have implemented punishment for some inappropriate comments made about the employer. I hope this comment is helpful; best of luck with your coursework. SL
    • Mar 20 2013: Thanks for your thorough perspective. Preparing for a speech contest can be really exhausting... I got the definition of the phrase ' Social Profiles' from, and yes, you interpreted the phrase right! To my surprise, a lot of SOEs are now using this 'technique' as a way of recruitment.
      Also, you've mentioned that you've never fired someone for a social media sit posting. And I guess you may work for a SOE or a multinational company. So, in your point of view, is it appropriate for companies to judge a person's overall abilities by their tweets, or simply by their bad pictures from Facebook. Frankly speaking, I seldom update my social profiles, It never occurred to me that these days, I'm forced to show some of my abilities on the internet, does this mean I'm kind of conservative?
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        • Mar 20 2013: Thank you for you information. Now I understand that a person's social profiles can really have huge impacts on his/her career.
          Also, would it be convenient for you to share some of the experiences you or your friends have been through concerning this particular issue? For example, some companies that actually adopt a person's social profiles as one of the recruitment criteria. Maybe you can list the names of these companies.
  • Mar 25 2013: haha, indeed, social networking is making this world small. I won't stay in Wuhan for too long as I'm having a test next Sat, what a pity! Here is my QQ number 836706857, and my Chinese name 陈雅,incase you'll need it when adding me, hehe. Looking forward to talk to you on QQ and definitely see you in Wuhan, good luck!
  • Mar 24 2013: hi, I guess we are preparing for the same competition. Lucky to see you here. Have you finished your essay for the speech? Unfortunately I haven't yet... Good luck freshman!
    • Mar 24 2013: I can't believe it! Wow, world is small, isn't it?
      We must meet and have some private comversations after we've been to Wuhan!
      The good news is that I have finished the preparation for the speech yesterday. Now I'm still working on it...
      How long do you plan to stay in Wuhan? I plan to go back to Nanchang next Fri.
      I believe you can join me to explore more parts of Wuhan.
      Can I have your QQ number?
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    Mar 19 2013: Do you mean because of activity on social profiles?
    • Mar 20 2013: I got the definition of "Social Profiles" from Thanks anyway!