Great Facebook Profiles Make for Great Employees

Your profile can predict how well you'll perform: study
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2012 8:42 AM CST
Updated Feb 25, 2012 11:53 AM CST
This Oct. 11, 2010 file photo, shows the logo of the online network Facebook, recorded in Munich with a magnifying glass of a computer screen of a laptop.   (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)

(Newser) – Want to know how successful you'll be at your job? Consider asking someone to analyze your Facebook profile. In a new study, a university professor and two students rated the profiles of 56 employed college students, grading them on characteristics such as "dependability" and "emotional stability." Six months later, researchers compared those ratings to employee evaluations by the students' supervisors, and found that job performance was strongly correlated to scores for conscientiousness, agreeability, and intellectual curiosity, the Wall Street Journal reports.

After looking at pictures, wall posts, comments, and other information contained on the profiles, raters tended to give better evaluations to the Facebookers who traveled and had more friends and diverse hobbies. And the raters did not necessarily give worse evaluations to those who partied: Evaluators actually scored those with party pics as friendly and extroverted. The study shows that Facebook could be a useful job-screening tool, particularly because candidates would have difficulty "faking it" on Facebook, the lead researcher explains. But using Facebook thusly is legally murky, and employers may be wary of it.

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