People have to be careful about what they post on social media if they’re hoping to find a job in the internet age.
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Bold Biz: Your Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint is more important than ever during the hiring process. Do you have any profiles you've forgotten about or would not want employers to see?

Posted by BoldTV on Tuesday, October 3, 2017

 

Everything that we post on social media is stored somewhere online. That picture of you making a weird, ugly face or the one where you’re holding a glass of champagne with friends is out there. In 2017, 70 percent of employers are screening candidates by looking at their social media profiles, according to a CareerBuilder survey. There is a good chance that a terrible post from the past can come back and haunt you when it comes to job opportunities.

What not to post

More than 54 percent of hiring managers have found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate. The biggest reasons for refusing to hire someone: inappropriate videos or photographs, alcohol- and drug-related posts or discriminatory posts related to gender, race or religion. There are also some surprising reasons that made the list including: posting too frequently, poor communications skills or having an unprofessional screen name.

It’s not surprising alcohol and drugs top the list because of the behaviors they cause and their illegality. It’s more surprising that poor communications skills show up on the list. Email accounts for more than 48 percent of communications in the workplace, and failure to communicate effectively with others at work is a concern for hiring managers. Poor spelling and grammar on a person’s profile is a turnoff for 66 percent of hiring managers, according to a 2014 Jobvite survey.

If you’re thinking about doing away with all of your social media profiles to cut down on worrying, think again — 57 percent of employers are less likely to call someone back if they can’t find an online presence for the candidate.

Where they are looking

When you think of social media websites that recruiters are likely to turn to, Facebook may be at the top of your list, but most aren’t looking there. A vast majority of recruiters, 87 percent, are looking at your LinkedIn profile to determine whether they should hire you. The second closest is Facebook, which is used by 43 percent. At the bottom of the list of places recruiters scour is Snapchat, which only 3 percent check.

Once recruiters find you on LinkedIn, it can be “speed dating for professionals.” They are looking for reasons not to hire you, such as: gaps in your work history, graduation date and lack of recommendations. Recommendations are seen as a sign that you’ve built professional relationships over the years and are regarded more highly than endorsements. Profile pictures are also taken into account. If you have a selfie or blurry picture, they will lean toward a candidate with a better picture.

Takeaway: Be very careful with social media

It’s easy to keep mentions of drugs and alcohol, illegal activity and political views off social media profiles, but it’s the less obvious factors that can cause you to miss out on a job. Grammar mistakes and posting too often can send recruiters away. Having no web presence leaves the recruiter without an impression of your online presence. Since everything will always be online, it’s also better to clean up what you do have to avoid problems. Conduct yourself professionally on social media because employers will be looking at all facets of your life.

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Header image: Adobe Stock

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Posted 10.11.2017 - 11:00 am EDT