Why Social Media Can Kill Your Job Search Chances

Are you a social media junky? Do you religiously post messages on your Facebook wall? Are you planning on beginning a job search in the near future? If you answered yes to all of those questions, you should be aware that you may have social media problem.

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are free services that you can use to communicate with friends and family despite the physical distance that may be between you. What you may not be aware of is that some employers use your social media sites to decide whether or not to hire you.

Employers Screen Potential Employees Social Media

According to a survey conducted by Career Builder 37% of employees vet potential employees using social media sites. That is a 2 out of 5 chance that your chosen employers will cyber stalk you. Pretty good odds, you say? Another 11% of the employers said that while they didn’t use social media to research potential employees, they planned to start. It is particularly important for individuals with an information technology degree to clean up their social media sites because 52% of employers check out social media sites before hiring. It is less important for individuals in the medical profession hand because only 28% of employers will screen their future employees using social media.

Do I Have a Social Media Problem?

Now that you know that employers might be cyber stalking you, you need to look over your social media profiles and decide if anything on the sites could harm your chances of landing that job.

• 49% of employers rejected candidates because they posted or were tagged in provocative photos and information.
• 45% of employers looked for evidence of drinking or drug use. Even If you have pictures that depict the occasional beer, I would remove any reference.
• 35% of employers rejected candidates who proved to have poor communication skills on their social media accounts. The rest of humanity realizes that you don’t need to use highbrow writing on social media sites, but you need to cater to the sticklers while attempting to get a job. Remove any posts that are grammatically incorrect or using text talk.
• 33% of employers rejected candidates who posted angry posts about their former employer. Bad mouthing an employer illustrates unprofessional behavior and can ruin their company’s image.
• 28% of employers rejected candidates who pasted discriminatory comments or posts.
• 22% of employers rejected candidates because their social media sites revealed that they lied about their qualifications.

Cleaning Up Your Social Media

If you have discovered that you do have posts or pictures attached to your account that will harm your chances of landing a job, you need to begin cleaning your social media sites. The clean-up process should begin before you send out jobs.

Follow these steps to clean up your social media:

• Ask your friends and family to refrain from posting anything inappropriate or tagging you in any pictures before until you can look them over.
• Delete any inappropriate comments or posts.
• Change your settings on Facebook to private.
• Set your friends to close friends. This will allow you an added level of privacy.

It is hard enough to land a job in the current job market without your social media profiles betraying you. While cleaning up your social media profiles can be hard work, you won’t regret it.

Katherine Gredley freelances about the teaching industry. She truly believes that pursuing higher education and earning certifications such as information technology degrees can have a profound impact on the job search.

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