A picture may be worth a thousand words, and party pics posted on Facebook speak volumes for employers sifting through job applicants, right? Maybe not. While recent concerns about employers plumbing social media for information about both current and potential employees have led many users to adjust their privacy settings and posting habits, a new study found that college students who posted images of themselves enjoying a drink or two, or even using drugs were just as responsible and hard-working as those who did not advertise their partying.
So by screening out candidates who show drinking and drug use on social media, “You might be throwing out the very people you want,” says another of the study’s co-authors Lori Foster Thompson, professor of psychology at North Carolina State. The research involved 175 Facebook-using college students who had participated in a pilot study then applied for a temporary, paid research assistant job.