As of June 2012, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) site has 955 million active users, which makes it the large social network around the world. Established in 2004, the company’s popularity grow so fast not just among college students but in all ages because it enables Facebook users to share their activities, comments, feelings, thoughts, pictures, play games and many more.
Some employers are even checking a Facebook profile before hiring a potential employee. A previous survey from CareerBuilder indicated that 37 percent of employers evaluate the qualifications of job applicants not just through their resume and interviews but they also look into their social media profiles such as Facebook. Employers want to know more about an applicant’s qualifications (51%), if he or she is a good fit for the company’s culture (51%), acts professionally online (65%) and well-rounded (35%). An applicant who posted provocative & inappropriate photos, shared information on alcohol or drug use, negative remarks against former employers, discriminatory remarks against race, gender or religion, lied about qualifications and displayed poor communication skills end up not getting the job.
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Indeed, a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) profile on site provides a lot of information about a user including how people perceived someone attractive and what factors affect the level of attractiveness for the profile owner.
Kevin Wise, associate professor and Seoyeon Hong, a doctoral student both from the University of Missouri found that the comments left by users on a person’s Facebook profile strongly affect the level of perceived attractiveness for him or her socially, physically and professionally.
In their study, Wise and Seoyeon noted that a user’s Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) profile photos are the first visible photographs for users and post comments on every one of them. The researchers found that a Facebook user with profile photos that has many positive comments, additional personal information, social cues are perceived to be more socially and physically attractive than users with fewer social cues and negative comments on their profile photos.
According to Hong, people tend to form their impressions on a person based on other-generated information instead of self-generated information. She said, the “opinions of other people matter more than the target person’s own self-presentation.”
She explained that it is important for social networking users to be aware of other-generated information if they want to achieve a positive impression or self-presentation online.
Hong pointed out that the study revealed that it is important for users to present themselves strategically on Facebook profile if they want they want their friends and potential employers to perceive them positively. According to her profile pictures with positive social cues are important.
Furthermore, Hong said, “No matter what the profile owner does to tailor their Facebook page, comments left on their page from other users should be monitored as well. Positive comments are very helpful, but negative remarks can be very damaging, even if they are silly or sarcastic. To maximize the effects of positive self-presentation on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), I would recommend using profile pictures with extensive social cues to show who and what you are in a positive way while also keeping track of what others say about you.”
The researchers used one person’s profile pictures with a variety of social cues and quality of comments to more than a hundred college students in the study.