Are Potential Employers Looking at my Social Media?

As your searching for the ideal job or internship, you may flashback to professors, advisors, mentors, etc. warning you to make sure your social media is clean, or better yet, get rid of it all together! Well, hello 21st century, they were SO right!

91% of employers use social networking sites to screen prospective employees.

If you never thought anything of those warning signs, now is the time to seriously start considering them – preferably before you start handing out your resume! Employers are constantly and consistently checking out your Facebook page, your latest tweet, your #throwbackthursday on Instagram, your LinkedIn, and even your Google+ and Pinterest! YES, you heard me correctly, these potential employers are seeing it all! Even if you think you’re totally private and undoubtedly unsearchable, guess again! Employers have all sorts of hacks to find you and information about you that you might not even know is out there! Take a second from reading this blog (but don’t forget to come back!), open a new tab, and Google yourself. No worries, I’ll wait.

I’ve been on the other side where my supervisors and bosses have received resumes, and before even skimming them, they’re typing the name of the prospective hire into their search bar on Facebook. If they see something they don’t like or “approve of”, such as you in a drunken stooper in that short skirt and crop top, or even a status that is ignorant or unintelligent, they have every right to throw your resume out. It may not seem fair to you, but remember that you are the one posting this to not only your friends, but the public! It’s a big deal and screening social networking is growing to be a more and more common tactic employers use to filter applications. 

69% of employers have rejected a candidate because of something they saw on a social networking site.
The top reasons are due to candidates having lied about their qualification skills, inappropriate photos and comments, poor communication skills, negative comments regarding previous employers, and posting about drug/alcohol use.

Okay, deep breath. Seems a little scary, huh? No worries, there is an upside. Employers don’t always use social media stalking (did I say stalking? I meant screening.) to rule you out. Social media is also an excellent way for employers to “feel out” a candidate. If you’re smart and prepared, you can use your social media to your advantage! Post diverse and cultured status. Share articles that show you keep up with the outside world, and even write your opinions! If there’s an issue that’s grabbed your attention lately, let the social media world know! It’s even possible to direct and cater your posts to the career field your searching for. This is an awesome way to show that you use social media for the right reasons. Post pictures of your assorted hobbies: hiking, cooking, sports, fishing, whatever it is that you do that shows you are a civilized human being who enjoys things besides thirsty thursdays and day drinks. Read a good book or seen an awesome movie lately? Share your thoughts! If you’re at a restaurant with friends, go ahead and check in; just be sophisticated with your post (“Catching up with friends over some great food” is fine!). If you’re attending a fundraiser or benefit, post a status along with some pics! Volunteering this weekend at the local animal shelter? Perfect reason for an update! Show this upscale and responsible side of you, and you’re bound to impress that potential employer and keep your name on the candidate list! 

68% of employers have hired a candidate because of what they saw on a social networking site.
Top reasons including a positive impression of their personality, profile supported qualifications, posts showed creativity and solid communication skills, and profile showed that candidate was well-rounded.

Even in a society fluent in #hashtags, there’s a simple rule that our parents and teachers instilled in us when we were younger: THINK before you SPEAK. The same goes for social media! Think before you post! Ask yourself, Will this come off as irresponsible or unreliable to a possible employer? before posting that status, picture, tweet, repin, etc. Your social media is a true example and give-away to who you are, whether you realize it while posting or not. Double check your privacy settings, go ahead and filter through those old pictures and statuses, and start posting appropriate and mediated updates, and you’re bound to impress that searching employer in no time!



Statistics received from an info-graphic on the Check it and more interesting facts out here


Did you find this post helpful? Have you ever encountered an experience relating to job hunting and social networking? Comment below! Feedback is always welcome and appreciated.

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