Locals weigh-in on employers snooping on employees' MySpace pages

Lawton_What you put on your Facebook and MySpace pages could prevent you from getting a job.  More and more employers are searching potential employees' MySpace pages as an additional form of background check.  But, why would they?

7News talked to a temp agency, and while they don't use the method as much as some employers might, the clients they work with say they do.  So, user beware - a social networking site could be the reason you aren't getting the job you want.  "Companies are - I don't think - are looking, necessarily, for just a skills set," said Employment Specialist Nathan Lee.  "They want someone who is going to fit in with their company personality-wise as well."

There always are routine background checks.  "We run Department of Homeland Security checks, national background checks - all that stuff," he said.  However, some employers want to get a sense of what they may think is the 'real you' by visiting your social networking page.  "A lot of people list hobbies on a resume - it is kind of no different than that," said Lee.  "You go look and see what they like to do in their spare time."  However, your personal pages may tell an employer a little more than what your hobbies are.

Is all of that really fair?

7News hit the streets to see what locals thought.  "They should be two separate things," said Daniel Mays.  "When you work somewhere they shouldn't base how you work off of what you do outside of work."  But, Allison Stottlemyre doesn't see anything wrong with investigating personal pages.  "People put stuff on there that shows who they really are - how they act and everything," she said.  "I think that if they don't want their employers to look at it, then they shouldn't have it up there."  Megan Allen disagrees.  "What someone does outside of work should not matter what happens inside of work," she said.  "How do you know if their employer does the same thing?"

The best way to protect yourself from prying eyes of employers - or potential employers - is to either makeover your page, or set your profiles to private.  On the flip side, Lee says those who do have MySpace or Facebook pages could use them to better market themselves for potential employees, and there also are professionally driven social networking sites such as