Graduate recruiters are warning students to be more thoughtful about what appears on their social networks, as employers are prone to check an applicant`s Facebook or Twitter pages.

Tamsin Collins, accounts executive at Gradzone, explains the existence of a ‘Google CV’ and  how important it is in the recruitment process,

“A Google CV is the result Google yields when a search is done on your name. Students are infamous for airing all of their sometimes very personal stuff on Facebook. Beware if your privacy settings are not set high on Facebook as your profile can be publicly  searched on Google. As Mark Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend’s character in the film The Social Network says: “The Internet’s not written in pencil, Mark, it’s written in ink”.

The recent sacking of a top theatre personality over his anti-Semitic comments about his theatre bosses on Facebook has highlighted the impact that social networks have on the image of employees in the workplace.

Fired Market Theatre Laboratory head, Matjamela Motloung, is taking the matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) ,arguing that  he regarded Facebook as a “private space”, the Sowetan reported.

As we celebrated Human Rights Day on Monday, section 14 of our Bill of Rights is clear on the individual`s right to privacy, stating, “Everyone has a right to privacy, which includes the right to not have their privacy or their communications infringed.”

Media law expert Dario Milo of WebberWentzel’s opinion on the matter of social networks and privacy is that “If someone shares their otherwise private information on a social networking site and does not take steps to ensure that their information is protected, for example only allows ‘friends’ to access it, then there is no invasion of privacy in circumstances where a third party (a prospective employer or otherwise) accesses that information”.

It is essential that Witsies  keep in mind when applying for  a job that the employer may ask for one`s Facebook profile link or Twitter account name, and that what one has on those accounts can determine a job offer or decline.