Almost seven in 10 Singapore professionals feel it is important to maintain their professional image online.
Network development director Camellia Tan believes in keeping her professional and personal lives separate.
This is especially so because the 33-year-old, who works in an advertising firm, uses social- networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, which potential employers might peruse.
"To be honest, LinkedIn is more like an online curriculum vitae. Many headhunters are increasingly using it to recruit staff," said Ms Tan, who has spent 11 years in the industry.
Almost seven in 10 Singapore professionals feel it is important to maintain their professional image online, according to a recent survey by Robert Walters, an international recruitment consultancy.
The survey, called the Global Web Poll, was conducted online last month on 35,280 respondents across 19 countries, including the United States, Japan, Switzerland and Australia.
Respondents were asked one question: How important do you consider maintaining a professional online presence on personal social-networking websites is, in the event prospective employers check on them?
Of the 2,390 Singaporeans polled, 69 per cent of them rated this as "very important" or "important". This was similar to that of the international average. The survey also showed that 510 Singaporeans, or 21 per cent of respondents, answered "unimportant" or "very unimportant". A further 230 respondents, or 10 per cent, said it was not something they think about
But Singaporean employers hardly ask for online background checks to be done when hiring, said Mr Josh Goh, assistant director for corporate services at The GMP Group, a human-resource consultancy.
"Those who do it would usually verify the sources as well," he added.
Mr Goh told my paper that employers who do background checks are usually objective. They mostly check professional websites like LinkedIn, and will steer clear of more personal websites, such as Facebook.
Employers will not judge job seekers based on their personal lives, said Mr Goh.
But a Facebook profile can reveal a lot more than what someone does in their free time.
In February, Northern Illinois University in the United States assessed the profiles of 56 students with jobs and rated their work ethics.
Six months later, a strong correlation was discovered between the ratings and their employer evaluations.
Facebook seemed to be a good gauge for reliability, the study found.
For instance, photos posted, such as those taken at parties, were found to demonstrate extroversion - a desired quality. But Mr Goh still cautioned against the blurring of one's personal and professional identities. "Employees should keep their social-media profiles as private as possible. At the end of the day, they really won't know if they will affect their social standing and work image," said Mr Goh.
The executive director of the Singapore Human Resources Institute, Mr David Ang, shares his sentiments.
"Cultural norms do play a role in the Singapore context," he said. "There are times when you may post pictures online and you could be in a very compromising position or pose. You have to be careful."
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