Like it or not, hiring managers these days are browsing candidates’ social media accounts before making a decision to bring on board a potential employee. According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, 34% of hiring managers reported are seeing negative information that “caused them not to hire a candidate.”
Even more surprisingly, 12% of hiring managers look at candidates’ social media presence specifically to find reasons not to hire him or her. Social networks are not new anymore, so job applicants can no longer claim ignorance to the fact that whatever they put online can potentially be seen by people around the world.
Any public piece of information on the internet is fair game for hiring managers to look at, and it just so happens that social media accounts are the most accessible. According to the study, here’s what hiring managers found:
- Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info – 49 percent
- There was info about candidate drinking or using drugs – 45 percent
- Candidate had poor communication skills – 35 percent
- Candidate bad mouthed previous employer – 33 percent
- Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. – 28 percent
- Candidate lied about qualifications – 22 percent
There are two easy-to-follow steps to avoid any trouble with your social media presence. First, change your privacy settings on Facebook so that only your friends (or friends of friends) can see your photos and your wall since those are the two places that are most likely to hold content that might be objectionable to a hiring manager. Second, scour through your Twitter account. Even if your name is not in your profile and you have not linked your Twitter account in any other places online or in your resume, I would recommend setting your profile to “protected” if you are worried about your privacy. Alternatively, you can just manually delete any objectionable tweets that you have written. Have you taken the time to browse through your social media accounts before you applied for a job? Have you ever looked at a candidate’s social media presence before making a hiring decision?