In a previous blog post, I examined the research on personality assessment using LinkedIn. This week I present the data on Facebook. What do our profiles actually reveal about us? And how accurate are others’ judgments of us based on these profiles? According to the research, pretty accurate.
Our personal and professional identities are becoming more and more intertwined these days, as evident in our social network profiles like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This interconnection means our online presence is increasingly being used as a tool for hiring managers to screen and assess job candidates. A 2011 survey by the Society of Human Resource Management found that 56% of organizations used social media to identify potential job candidates. And remember—that was 2011!
In 2012 a study examining the profiles of 274 Facebook users found that complete strangers were able to accurately assess the users’ Big Five personality traits (i.e., Agreeableness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, and Openness to Experience) based on a 5-minute perusal of their Facebook profiles (Kluemper, Rosen, & Mossholder, 2012) [Tweet This!].
Furthermore, these personality traits – specifically, Emotional Stability and Agreeableness – were related to job performance ratings in a subsample of 56 users. Similar results on using Facebook profiles to predict job performance were recently found by Cavanaugh and Landers (2014). As Landers states, “Because the information from social media is so unique and new, it’s not recommended that employers replace self-tests – they are more useful together and complement one another.”
The data suggests that people’s online presence depicts a realistic portrayal of themselves.
What does this mean for job seekers?
Make sure your public social network profiles are up-to-date, active, and reflect the real you. They might just help you land that dream job.
Read this next: How to Get Hired for a Job in Sales Without Experience
Will this knowledge impact the way you apply for jobs? What else are you interested in knowing? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet @ji_amin
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