Is Social Media Helping or Hurting Your Job Search?

We posted this parody video from The Onion on our Facebook fan page over the weekend. It jokingly reports that “Facebook Pics Make Every Potential 2040 Presidential Candidate Unelectable.” Like all good comedy, it’s funny because there is a kernel of truth underneath the surface. What if this story was about your job search rather than Presidential elections?

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Employers Are Watching

Spying recently surveyed 2,000 employers regarding their use of social media to check on job candidates. They’re watching you! Only 12% of them said they were deliberately searching for reasons not to hire someone. The vast majority are simply hoping to get a bigger picture of the personality and qualifications of the job candidate.

And an additional 11% indicated that they plan to start using social media in the near future. That means that almost half of employers are going to be checking your LinkedIn and Facebook activity.

What Are Employers Seeing?

The numbers are sobering. More than a third of hiring managers said they have disqualified a candidate based on their social media activity. Some of the reasons included the following activities:

  • 48% posted provocative or inappropriate pictures
  • 45% showed evidence of drinking or illegal drug yes
  • 35% demonstrated poor communication skills
  • 33% badmouthed previous employer
  • 28% made discriminatory comments
  • 22% showed they lied on their application or resume

Here at #CareerGravity, we believe that these trends are only going to increase. In short, think about your social media activity in terms of the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm.

Job Search Infographic

Here’s an infographic that CareerBuilder put together with some of the results from their survey. Click on the image to see it in full size.

CareerBuilder 2012 social media infographic


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