Social Media now plays a vital role in the job search process today. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allow employers to get a glimpse of who you are outside the confines of a résumé, cover letter, or interview—while they offer job seekers the opportunity to learn about companies they’re interested in; connect with current and former employees; and hear about job openings. That’s probably why half of all job seekers are active on social networking sites on a daily basis.
CareerBuilder.com conducted a survey that asked 2,303 hiring managers and human resource professionals if, how, and why they incorporate social media into their hiring process. First they found that 37% of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates. That means about two in five companies browse your social media profiles to evaluate your character and personality--and some even base their hiring decision on what they find. CareerBuilder also asked employers why they use social networks to research candidates, and 65% said they do it to see if the job seeker presents himself or herself professionally. About half (51%) want to know if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture, and another 45% want to learn more about his or her qualifications. Some cited “to see if the candidate is well-rounded” and “to look for reasons not to hire the candidate,” as their motives. So, if you're among the 89% of job seekers that use social networking sites (daily, sometimes, or rarely), you'll want to be careful.
A third (34%) of employers who scan social media profiles said they have found content that has caused them not to hire the candidate. About half of those employers said they didn’t offer a job candidate the position because of provocative or inappropriate photos and information posted on his or her profile; while 45% said they chose not to hire someone because of evidence of drinking and/or drug use on his or her social profiles. Other reasons they decided not to offer the job: the candidate’s profile displayed poor communication skills, he or she bad mouthed previous employers, made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion, or lied about qualifications.
Job seekers shouldn't just focus on hiding or removing inappropriate content; they should work on building strong social networks and creating online profiles that do a really good job of representing their skills and experience in the workplace. Engage on social networking sites to increase visibility and searchability with prospective employers. Make sure your profile has a professional image if you are job searching.
Connect with a Career Coach to find out more information about how to manage your Social Media accounts professionally. Email email@example.com.