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Want a Job? Check Your Facebook Profile

facebook screen . / Credit: Dreamstime.com

The role your Facebook profile can play in determining whether you get the job or not might be more substantial than you think.

A new study by career and résumé-building website LiveCareer.com revealed that almost half of executives say they are likely to make a hiring decision based on a prospective employee's online identity or Facebook profile.

According to the survey, 46 percent of executives said a company should review a candidate's online profiles before extending a job offer, with 40 percent believing that companies have the right to deny a job offer based on the applicant's online identity.

Those who already have a job should be equally as careful with their online identity. Forty percent of the executives surveyed said a company has the right to fire an employee based on inappropriate comments made on his or her Facebook page.

"Most people know that employers cannot ask questions regarding race, gender, religion, age, pregnancy or sexual preference during job interviews," said James Freundlich, co-CEO of LiveCareer North America. "What people may not realize is the degree to which hiring managers can glean personal information about candidates by poking around their Facebook page."

[7 Unexpected Ways Facebook is Good for You]

It's not just executives who think checking out online profiles should be used in the hiring process. More than 33 percent of entry-level workers surveyed said a company should review a candidate's online identity before extending a job offer.

"We expected the respondents' age to affect their views on workplace privacy," Freundlich said. "But we did not expect one in four of the entry-level respondents to agree that a company could deny them a job offer based on their Facebook profile, nor did we think over 30 percent would think it's okay to be fired for something they've posted online."

The study was based on surveys of more than 6,600 LiveCareer.com users.

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance business and technology writer who has worked in public relations and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter. You can reach him at chadgbrooks@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.