Social media has become a powerful job search and networking tool; but it is a two-edged sword with as much potential to sabotage your job search as help it. When you apply for a job, you want to present yourself in the best possible light; but as we noted in our previous post, social media can undermine your job search by revealing thoughts and behavior best kept private.
Increasingly, employers are using social networks to research job candidates, laying bare your private life to the scrutiny of potential employers. Employers are using social media not only to determine a potential employee’s well-roundedness but to actively search for negative records that can deep-six an applicant’s chance of employment.
According to a CareerBuilder builder survey cited by Jacquelyn Smith in a column on Forbes.com, 34% of employers who use social media to evaluate job candidates admitted that they had decided not to hire a job applicant based on information found on social media sites. Among the material employers found most offensive were provocative photos, evidence of drug use or drinking, poor communication skills, discriminatory comments, disparaging comments about former employers, and lying about qualification.
“If you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage,” CareerBuilder VP of human resources Rosemary Haefner told Forbes. “Take down or secure anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional and share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.”
To that advice we would add that it is wise to remove from social media any photos or information that you would not openly share with a potential employer. You can also improve your chance of employment by posting information to social networks that displays your job skills and enhances your professional reputation.
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