Joseph File is his real name, but his Facebook profile reads Joseph Carmen.
File, a Gainesville resident, said he changed his profile name and tightened his privacy settings when he began searching for a job.
“I want to keep my personal life separate from work life,” File said.
A recent survey commissioned by Microsoft found that 70 percent of recruiters and hiring managers in the United States have rejected an applicant based on information they found online. Facebook users are responding by hiding profiles from employers by removing their last name in place of a middle name.
“I don’t want a potential employer judging me based on my Facebook.” File said. “I should be able to win an employer over in person.”
Trimaine Sheffield, a career ambassador for the UF Career Resource Center, said cleaning up an online identity is one of the first steps to have a chance in the professional world.
“The easiest thing to do is take off some of the bad content,” Sheffield said. “ou don’t have to share with everyone.”
Keith Blanchard, Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County director, said that, along with a criminal background check, he also checks Facebook profiles of potential employees.
“I always ask for permission before checking a Facebook profile,” Blanchard said. “I’ve been doing background checks for 10 years, and it’s a red flag if someone says no.”
Blanchard said he doesn’t really look at pictures or wall posts. If the background check was clean, Facebook is just an additional tool to get another glimpse of the person.