German officials: Take embarrassing pics off Facebook

24th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

The ministry sounded the alarm bell after a study it commissioned found that more than one in four firms routinely vet applicants by doing online searches, often before extending invitations to job interviews.

Berlin -- The German government warned job-seekers Friday to avoid posting potentially compromising pictures or remarks on social networking sites such as Facebook, citing a study about their use by employers.

Consumer affairs minister Ilse Aigner "calls on citizens who use the Internet often to think about what they put online," a spokeswoman for her ministry told a regular government news conference.

The ministry sounded the alarm bell after a study it commissioned found that more than one in four firms routinely vet applicants by doing online searches, often before extending invitations to job interviews.

Most use sites such as Facebook or its homegrown rival StudiVZ to access material not restricted by privacy settings.

The study by the independent Dimap institute found that 28 percent of the around 500 German companies polled searched for information about their would-be employees' hobbies, political opinions and personal lives.

Three in four said they judged candidates negatively who complain about their jobs in public forums or post pictures of themselves at rowdy parties.

It followed a US survey for Career Builder.com that showed nearly half of companies snoop on the online profiles of job candidates.

AFP/Expatica

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