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It is a well known fact that Human Resources look at LinkedIn and Facebook profiles of candidates. I however do not have a Facebook account.

I tried Facebook, but didn't like the website and how people were using it so I just deleted my account. Needless to say Facebook is as unprofessional as it gets and people do typically not use this tool in a professional context. Pictures of parties etc. are more typical Facebook content.

I believe that the HR looks at Facebook page to see if you are too unprofessional and eliminates candidates that way - or on the other hand it could be seen as a bonus for candidates to look professional on Facebook.

They could assume that if someone do not have a Facebook account, it is because they have something to hide, and have deleted their account. Does such a thing happen? Could having a "blank" Facebook account with almost nothing on it help me to get a job?

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    Actually many hr teams are very careful about accessing FB and the like as it opens the company up to any number of discrimination claims.
    – Pepone
    Jul 26 '15 at 16:59
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    @VietnhiPhuvan Do not listen to Vietnhi Phuvan. For some reason, he has a weird obsession with social media sites and bashes anyone that doesn't use them.
    – Jack
    Jul 27 '15 at 0:51
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    I'd love to know how these supposed HR Facebook searches work, given the hundreds of millions of Facebook accounts. I know if I search for my name there, I find a heap of hits with my city/country listed. No way of knowing which one is me. LinkedIn, sure, you can look at the work history and match it to the candidate. Jul 27 '15 at 0:51
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    Possible duplicate question of workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/33152/…. Jul 27 '15 at 13:33
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    I seem to remember reading a blog post written by a hiring manager a while back in which they detailed a round of interviews where they were pressured by higher ups to get a candidates FB profile from them. The author indicated this was a nightmare as some of the candidates immediate response was along the lines of "If you see my FB you will see personal info and I will assume that I didn't get the job because of discrimination and I will sue you."
    – kylieCatt
    Jul 28 '15 at 15:38
17

They could assume that if someone do not have a facebook account, it is because they have something to hide and this is fishy, thus elimitate it. Does such thing happens?

I suppose it's possible, but I've never heard of such a thing.

HR and others look at pretty much any online presence you have. LinkedIn and Facebook are two common sources, but if you Google your name, you will likely find many more.

All of these are potential sources of information about you, but none are required. And the absence of any would seldom be seen as "fishy" or be a cause for worry on the part of HR or a hiring manager.

Now, if you did actually indeed delete your Facebook account because it contained background information that you are trying to hide, similar materials will likely show up on other online sources - some of which aren't within your control.

Could having a "blank" facebook account with almost nothing on it help me to get a job?

I can't imagine a case where a "blank" Facebook account would be helpful (or harmful) in this matter.

I suspect that you are seriously overthinking this issue, and are worrying about nothing.

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  • The person may also have a common name, and therefore be very difficult to find on social media. Joe Strazzere, for example, is likely fairly easy to find (and, in fact, I'm stalking his LinkedIn at this very moment). Paul Smith, however, is probably a little trickier to pick out of the pile....
    – Jon Story
    Jul 27 '15 at 13:15
  • Potentially, depending what's available on the profile: You might be able to find my LinkedIn, but I doubt you'd find my Facebook, though, as the only public information as far as I'm aware is my name and profile picture, and I don't include a photograph with job applications. You could perhaps narrow it down based on age (by extrapolating from experience), and possibly geography of groups I'm a member of... but I still doubt you'd find me easily. Let me know if you do, though :p
    – Jon Story
    Jul 27 '15 at 14:18
  • haha, here's a (very slightly) out of date one, but the places/locations and dates of work are still correct - let me know when you've grabbed it and I'll delete the link. Then feel free to point out if there's anything you can see online that would prevent you hiring me... this could be interesting! dropbox.com/s/p8rw8qa57n90xmh/Jon_Story_CV_June_2015.docx?dl=0
    – Jon Story
    Jul 27 '15 at 14:28
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Jon Story
    Jul 28 '15 at 0:03
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I know several people without a Facebook page (including a few people under 30). Unless your position will involve interaction on social media platforms, I doubt anyone will care that you choose to keep your interactions more private.

Most hiring managers will likely see it as a way to maintain your privacy, and not assume anything more sinister.

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  • +1 for pointing out that it may be more difficult to find work in a sector requiring use of social media if you cannot evidence interest in social media. Jul 27 '15 at 12:57
  • But on the flip side being hard to find on social media may be an advantage or expected in some professions. The majority of my teacher friends use nicknames or "Firstname Middlename" on Facebook, for example, to prevent students finding them.
    – Jon Story
    Jul 27 '15 at 13:16
  • You'll probably find that the under-30-without-FB set is going to grow. My daughter doesn't use FB and has no interest in it despite being a heavy user of Instagram.
    – Blrfl
    Jul 27 '15 at 13:22
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When interviewing, I always look up the candidate on LinkedIn. If they don't have a profile, I am disappointed, but it's not a show-stopper. If they do, I go through it and see if I can learn anything else that the resume and cover letter do not convey.

I used to look people up on Facebook, but since it is more personal in nature, I realized I got little of actual professional value from it, and stopped doing that. You will not be penalized by any reasonable interviewer for not having a readily accessible Facebook profile.

Most HR folks caution against checking personal social media profiles (at least in the US) because you often find information which is illegal to use as a reason for declining a candidate (family status, health, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, etc.).

Not having a LinkedIn profile may limit your opportunities with some companies, but a good resume and cover letter, a good referral from a colleague, and an interview that proves your know what you're talking about, will overcome the lack of a social media presence.

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I would agree with both answers. What I will add is that lacking social media accounts can actually work in your favor. Not that you may particularly work in a governmental capacity, but many companies who do work with federal government agencies requiring security clearances actually prohibit employees having social media accounts; or at the very least social media accounts in their legal name.

When it comes to your life whether you do anything questionable or not, having less of it out on social media can benefit you greatly. Less for people to go snooping on. If people I work with want to know more about my life and interests outside the workplace, they can make the effort to do so after hours. Also just keep in mind that if you have an extensive social media presence, other sites will crawl that meta information and redistribute it. Pictures and content you post typically persist on the web for 12 years before its so far down in the indexing that its hard to find. I would not worry about having a blank FB account. The only account and frankly people that are really worth having in your network are on LinkedIn.

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  • +1 for pointing out that leading a quiet life on social media may be a plus to workers in secure/sensitive sectors. Jul 27 '15 at 12:59

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