As social media becomes a growing presence in everyday life, you need to be increasingly careful about the things you post and tweet.
The pictures you publish and the things you say on social media sites can keep you from getting a job, can get you in trouble with your boss or can even get you fired. But social media postings can also work in your favor, if they portray you as professional, able to communicate effectively and make you appear as a person that would be nice to work with.
60% of employers use social media to research applicants
And don’t think that hiring managers and recruiters aren’t looking. They are. Or at least according to CareerBuilder’s annual social media recruitment survey of 2,186 hiring and human research managers conducted between February 10 and March 17, 2016. It found that 60% of employers use social media sites to research job applicants, up from 52% last year and 11% in 2005.
“Tools such as Facebook and Twitter enable employers to get a glimpse of who candidates are outside the confines of a resume or cover letter,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “And with more and more people using social media, it’s not unusual to see the usage for recruitment to grow as well.”
Info on social media can hinder job search
The company’s survey found that 49% of hiring managers who screen candidates using social media found information that made them decide to not hire a candidate. The top things that bothered them:
- Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information (46%)
- Information about a candidate drinking or using drugs (43%)
- Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. (33%)
- Bad-mouthing a previous company or fellow employee (31%)
- Poor communication skills (29%)
Jobvite, a San Mateo, Calif.-based software and recruiting company, found similar responses. In its Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016, based on an online survey conducted in June and completed by 1,600 recruiting and human resources professionals:
- 47% of recruiters view pictures of alcohol consumption negatively on social media
- 60% find over sharing a problem
- 72% view typos negatively
- 71% find indications of marijuana use problematic
Shutting down Facebook account may not be best idea
In the past some people recommended that job seekers should shut down their Facebook accounts, since it’s impossible to tell what a hiring manager might find offensive. These days, however, many hirers may wonder why a certain job seeker does not have a social media presence, i.e., a Facebook account.
According to the CareerBuilder survey, 41% of employers said they are less likely to interview a job applicant if they are unable to find information about that person online.
Although LinkedIn is used by hiring managers and recruiters to get an idea of an applicant’s professional background, Facebook – and to a lesser extent Twitter – portray the personal side, and can answer the question, “Is this someone I would enjoy working with.”
If your Facebook postings or tags are even slightly offensive, however, it might not be a bad idea to deactivate your account while you’re searching for a job, since it will no doubt work against you.
And even after you get a job, you’re not safe. According the CareerBuilder survey, more than a quarter of employers have either fired or reprimanded an employee because of content they found online.
It’s important to carefully consider each and every photo and comment you post, especially on Facebook. So constantly monitor your social media presence and make sure it portrays you as the kind of person that the company you dream of working for would like to hire.