A growing group of human resources staffs are turning to social media to determine the likelihood that a particular job candidate will be a good fit for the company. As many as 75 percent of HR professionals peruse social media accounts, like Facebook, to scout job candidates and not just to look for dirty laundry. Basic personality traits exhibited through social media can be a stronger determiner of a person’s success in a particular company’s culture than an in-depth personality test, say some HR managers.

Beyond landing a job though, are there benefits to allowing people from your work circles into your social media ones – particularly your boss? Before you make the ultimate decision, consider these factors:

Pro: Your boss may feel that you have nothing to hide when you invite him or her to access your social media pages. This can lead to a higher level of trust and camaraderie between the two of you.

Con: You have to filter what you say and what you post. If you decide to take a mental health day but call in a “sick” day, you can’t very well post a photo of yourself drinking a mojito at your favorite watering hole a few hours later.

Pro: You will learn more about your boss, too. You will get an intimate look into the after-hours life of your boss and may even learn a few things about what interests him or her the most. If your boss is a parent, you can ask questions about his or her kids and the same goes for any hobbies. It can be lonely being in charge, so allowing you into his or her life may actually make your boss happy.

Con: It can be awkward. Especially if you decide to move on to greener pastures. Giving your boss your two weeks’ notice and then posting your excitement about the new position you’ve accepted can feel weird. Completely unfollowing or unfriending your (former) boss can be awkward too, though. Keep in mind that you may not have your job forever.

Pro: You can earn brownie points. Perhaps your company is featured in an article about its newest and greatest product. You can share that article with your social media circles (including your boss) and share the company news. The same goes for congratulating colleagues in a public, social media way for accomplishments. Your enthusiasm for the job and company can be more publicly displayed on social media – and your boss can see it bubbling over if he or she is your friend.

Con: It’s personal. There is a reason that some things in life are relegated to the professional realm, while others are strictly personal. There is certainly an argument for doing what you want with your time when you are off the clock – but if you party hard, or split custody of your kids, or moonlight as a professional concert-goer – you may not want your boss to see all the details of that. Even if you refrain from posting things that are too personal on your pages, you cannot always prevent friends from tagging you in their own posts and pictures.

What do you think? Is friending and following your boss on social media a career smart move?

Photo via Flickr/Creative Commons