Earlier this month I read a MSNBC article about companies requesting access to the social media sites of potential job candidates during their interviews. Yikes! Talk about invasion of privacy. Do I really want my new employer seeing photos of the margarita-mix-on-the-ceiling New Year’s Party? Or my big hair days of the 1980’s? Or my chubby baby in the bathtub photo? Absolutely not!
Facebook and their league of lawyers are already on the case, but in the meantime, what do you do when faced with this situation? Do you get up and walk out? Do you spend the day before the interview deleting every embarrassing comment, photo and friend on your Facebook wall? Do you create a pseudo-profile that is only used for job interviews?
Give them what they really want!
Your future boss wants to know your character and values. Do you have integrity? Are you honest? Are you responsible? Who better to answer these questions than your professional and personal references?
Instead of doing the “references upon requests” routine, take the initiative and put together a list of references and collect a handful of referral letters in advance. Include the names of past bosses, co-workers and staff members you supervised plus have a few personal references who can attest to your brilliance.
When the hiring manager asks for your username and password, tell them you have something even better. Present them with a list of references both personal and professional. Ask your references to be available during the time of your interview and have the hiring manager give them a call right then and there. Get really creative and show video testimonials on your tablet or laptop. Create a unique and professional PowerPoint or portfolio all about you!
Turn this uncomfortable situation into an opportunity to show your style and creativity. It might just land you the job and protect your privacy.