Some Employers Asking For Social Media Passwords With Application

POSTED: 5:49 AM Mar 27 2012   UPDATED: 6:00 AM Mar 27 2012

You probably check in with your friends and family on Facebook, but who's using it to check you out? More employers are asking potential employees for their social media passwords so they can really see who they're hiring.

If you want a job at Shoozies in Bristol, you'll need a resume, a cover letter, and a clean Facebook page. Manager Kristen Terry told News 5, social media is her tool to see if applicants are who they say they are. While she does not ask for passwords, she browses what applicants make public online.

"You're showing me you're out drinking, you're out partying, you know, I don't want that kind of behavior in my store. It's just not professional," Terry told News 5.

We found out from career experts at Northeast State Technical Community College, about 90 percent of businesses are doing the same.

"As many as 69 percent of employers have looked on Facebook to see an employee that they chose not to hire because what they've seen there," said Marquita Tittle, Northeast's Carreer Services Coordinator.

Now, some of these companies are asking to see more than what's on the surface.

"I've been to job fairs just in the past couple months alone, and I know that some of the applications now, you'll see where they ask for a box of 'Will you provide you Facebook or social networking password?'" said Joshua Johnson, a student at Northeast State.

It's a request that's stirring national debate. Many more companies including those in security, medical and police work are asking for social network passwords.

People we talked to said handing over that information would allow an invasion of their personal privacy, even if they have nothing to hide.

"I don't feel like a company needs to get that involved in my personal life to actually hire me an an employee," Johnson said.

"Some of the stuff, like especially messages, are personal," said Nicole Tester, another student we talked to.

But in an increasingly digital world, we learned keeping anything you post online professional will help you land, and keep, a job in the long run.

"One of the things that we're very careful to instruct our students not to do is to speak negatively about anyone, especially prior employers," said Tittle.

That's because your next boss could be checking you out before you ever meet them in person.

"If you put it out there [where] I can see it, you know, I'm gonna look at it," said Terry.

We found out social media can work in your favor while hunting for a job. Some sites, like LinkedIn, allow you to post your resume and professionally network online.