Study: Facebook Comments, Pictures Influence Potential Employers

  • Plan your Facebook profile pictures
  • Positive comments create positive impression to a user
  • Employers conduct background check on prospective employee on Facebook
These days, the key to obtaining an interview or securing a new job may be dependent on how much you pay attention to comments and pictures placed on

  • Plan your Facebook profile pictures
  • Positive comments create positive impression to a user
  • Employers conduct background check on prospective employee on Facebook
These days, the key to obtaining an interview or securing a new job may be dependent on how much you pay attention to comments and pictures placed on your Facebook profile. 
 
According to a new study from the University of Missouri, the more that an individual’s friends leave positive comments on their profile picture, other people’s perception of their physical, social and professional attributes will likely be positive. 
 
Facebook has attracted 850 million people worldwide to regularly use the social networking space as a communication medium. Today, more employers are turning to Facebook to examine and conduct background check to potential employees before making hires.   
 
Seoyeon Hong, a doctoral student, and Kevin Wise, an associate professor at the University of Missouri-School of Journalism, found that the more positive comments, social clues, and additional information that individuals have on their profile picture, the more socially and physically attractive they are perceived to be. 
 
“People tend to rely more on other-generated information than self-generated information when forming impressions,” Hong said. This means for users concerned about forming a desired impression to other people, the opinion of other people really matters.
 
Meanwhile, users who have fewer social cues and negative comments on their profile photos tend to be viewed more negatively.
 
To conduct her research, Hong showed different profile pictures of the same person to her test subjects. Those where the photos include the user involved varying activities – such as playing sports or playing a musical instrument – more positive feedback were received than merely a placed head shot. 
 
Including “profile pictures with positive social clues” will likely boost the perception of other people towards an individual who is concerned about being perceived positively by friends and potential employers.
 
“Positive comments are very helpful, but negative remarks can be very damaging, even if they are silly or sarcastic,” explained Hong, who further added that it may be high time to keep track of what other people say about you. 

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