Half of Employers Who Check Social Media Say It’s Torpedoed Job Applicants

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Many employers are looking at more than your resume and hiring application when considering you for a job. Oftentimes, social media can make or break your chance of getting hired.

A recent CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 3,000 workers found that 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media sites have found content that led them to not hire the candidate.

Not surprisingly, pictures of you doing keg stands or posting sexist or racist jokes will probably get your application thrown in the garbage. But you might want to check your Twitter and Facebook posts for spelling mistakes and poor grammar. Nearly a third of the 70 percent of hiring managers who use social media to check out applicants said they’ve tossed out a candidate for subpar communication skills online.

The CareerBuilder survey found that employers are moving beyond social networking sites when researching job candidates. Forty-five percent of hiring managers said they use search engines like Google, and some even read applicants’ posts and comments on Glassdoor.com, Yelp.com and other online ratings sites.

According to Time, more than 9 out of 10 HR professionals report seeing poor communication skills on job candidates’ social media sites. Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS, a talent acquisition company, told Time it’s critical that job seekers make sure that the publicly accessible information on their social media profiles is professional.

“It’s difficult for a recruiter to ‘unsee’ these references,” Vitale said.

But social media works both ways – it can help and harm. About a third of the employers surveyed said that in researching a potential job applicant on the Web, they found content that made them more likely to hire the candidate.

According to Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, job seekers need to remember that much of what they post online, and even what other people post about them, can be found by potential employers. Haefner said:

Job seekers need to stay vigilant, and pay attention to privacy updates from all of their social networking accounts so they know what information is out there for others to see. Take control of your Web presence by limiting who can post to your profile and monitoring posts you’ve been tagged in.

Has social media hurt or helped you get a job? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

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  • rockt647

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  • Y2KJillian

    Well, yes, a lot of people do see social media as their free time and their own time to express themselves among friends as they would at a bar or social gathering, but it really is fair that those who can’t spell or use proper grammar are losing out on job opportunities when those jobs require correct spelling and usage. It’s a shame people think that because they’re on their own time that they can be lax and careless and that no one should hold it against them. People often hold a lot of things against strangers–i.e.: job applicants. How else would prospective employers ever be able to sort through piles of resumes and distinguish one applicant from another if they didn’t judge and choose? And social media are more ways to help that judging and choosing. So be careful when you post!