Have you posted Facebook status updates about
alcohol and drug usage? What about typing obscenities or grammatically
incorrect messages on Twitter? Is your Instagram feed full of sexy poses and
scantily clad friends?
You may be decreasing your odds of scoring that dream job. In fact, a recent survey by Jobvite suggests that your future career goals – as well as your overall online reputation management efforts - may be compromised with your social-media activity.
According to the survey, 42 percent of all job recruiters have reconsidered an applicant after perusing their social networks. As sharing information on the Internet continues to increase, recruiters are able to observe content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and a variety of other networking channels.
In recent years, human resource firms have increasingly relied on social media to examine candidates. Now, the Jobvite survey indicates that 94 percent of human resources and recruited workers are using these tools.
Additionally, 78 percent of these hiring authorities have completed a hire via social media. This practice has been popular in various industries, most notably in technology and related fields.
One reason for this popularity is the lowered cost. Nearly 43 percent of hiring authorities spent less than $1,000 each month on recruited. However, 60 percent responded that the value of these social-networking sites was more than $20,000 each year. Another 20 percent estimated the value at $90,000 each year.
Instead of hiring an
individual to examine the backgrounds of each candidate, human resources
professionals can simply perform a search on Google and other search engines.
Therefore, the interview process can be streamlined. Jobvite customers have
reported that these employees often remain on the job longer than those found
through traditional sources.
LinkedIn currently reigns as the dominant networking site for employers. Ninety-two percent have hired using this popular with business professionals. LinkedIn has replaced the traditional job boards as a place to search for prospective employees and post open positions.
Meanwhile, 24 percent of hiring authorities have hired via Facebook, while 14 percent have done the same on Twitter.
Recruiters have found that social-networking profiles provide a stronger sense of the candidate’s potential. A professional resume is generally available through LinkedIn, while Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are more of a glimpse into their personality.
It makes sense then that job seekers should present themselves in a professional manner across their social-networking profiles. The next perfect job might be just around the corner. Long gone are the days when candidates and employers alike would scan the wanted ads of the newspaper for information on the job market.
The Jobvite survey polled around 1,600 human resources and recruiting workers. Nearly half (47 percent) responded negatively to photos of alcohol intake on a candidate’s social-networking sites. Further, 61 percent disliked the appearance of grammatical and spelling errors, and 51 percent reacted poorly to guns and firearms references.
Other notable statistics:
Profanity - 65 percent responded negatively.
Posts of a sexual nature - 71 percent.
References to illegal drugs - 83 percent.
Posts about politics and religion – generally considered hot-button topics – received a neutral reaction from hiring authorities. Still, the general consensus is that these topics should still be avoided.
Your content is stored permanently in the digital memory of the Internet. Professional acquaintances will be judging you by your words and actions as displayed through your social-media accounts, websites and blogs. The online hallways are littered with cautionary tales about indiscriminate people who have struggled to enter the workplace after unseemly content has risen to the surface.
Blake Jonathan Boldt is a content strategist for Reputation Advocate. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and digital media outlets.