Would you give up your most private secrets for the job of your dreams?

Maybe Facebook doesn’t have your most private secrets but your private information and password are pretty private.  Lately, some employers and recruiters have started asking job applicants for their Facebook usernames and passwords as part of the interviewing process.

Facebook has become public domain and if you leave your privacy settings open, recruiters and your future bosses can look through your profile to get a better feel for you. This is even more true if you friend them.  They feel that people share more with their virtual networks than they do with their real life family and friends and by snooping around, they will get a better feel for you.    Where I would draw the line is when a recruiter or potential boss asks for your username and password so that they can snoop around.

YES, this is happening and No, you should not give up your password. 

First of all, it is against the Facebook Terms of Service to give anyone your password so if a company is asking you to do that, it’s probably not a place that you want to be working in the first place.  Apparently it is legal to ask an interviewee to log in for your and shoulder surf while you scroll through your “friends only” posts.  Besides the legalities, a recruiter or potential boss has no right to request access to any information that is “private”.  If they are worried about how you will represent the company, which is a valid concern, they can look through your public profile and see what everyone else in the world sees.  They can also get references from your past boss, co-workers, friends, neighbors and old professors.  They already do criminal checks at many companies but once again, this is all public information.  If you start getting into private information, they will want to look around your house, have access to your previous browsing history and private files on your personal computer.  They’ll want to hook you up to a polygraph and interrogate you on your deepest secrets.

From the recruiter’s perspective, they are trying to make sure that you will not only fit in with the company but that you will also represent the company.  Although you won’t be on the clock 24/7, you will be in some ways representing the company at all times in one form or another.  If you do something stupid that gets you on the news, in jail or both, the company that you work for can be mentioned.  That said, there is always a risk in hiring anyone but public is public and private is private and that line should not be crossed.

As a job applicant or an employee, you always have to be careful about what you post in your public timeline or even your private timeline that is open to friends of friends (or friends if you choose to connect with your boss or recruiter).  There have been many cases of people who lost their jobs, got denied insurance claims or got passed over for jobs because of their Facebook activity.  There have also been people who have been helped by their obsession of posting everything to their profile such as Rodney Bradford, who got off of a crime because he updated his status while the crime in question was taking place.

To sum it up, if the recruiter or potential boss asks you for your private information, it’s probably not the job of your dreams anyway.  Be careful about what you post and invite them to take a look at your public profile.

How do you feel about Employers asking for your Password?


Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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