Be careful what you post online – it might just lose you that job

More than half of employers say they have rejected an applicant because of what they have seen on social media posts, according a survey.

Fri, 19 Sep 2014More than half of employers say they have rejected an applicant because of what they have seen on social media posts, according a survey.

Research by CareerBuilder.co.uk found that 55% of employers said that 48% of employers use social networking sites as one way of researching background on job candidates. Additionally, 12% of employers that don’t currently research candidates on social media plan to start.

But they aren’t restricting themselves to just social networks. Half of employers use search engines such as Google to research potential job candidates, while 21% saying they do so frequently or always.
 
The most common reasons why candidates were rejected included:

  • Posting information about their drinking or drug habits – 45%
  • Bad-mouthing previous company or employees – 39%
  • Posting provocative or inappropriate photographs, information – 38%
  • Lying about qualifications – 37%
  • Links to criminal behaviour – 25%
  • Posting discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc – 20%

 
It’s not all bad through. One third of employers said they found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate.

Some of the most common reasons employers hired a candidate based on their social networking presence included:

  • Background information supported their professional qualifications for the job – 49%
  • Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests – 44%
  • Great communication skills – 44%
  • Online site conveyed a professional image – 40%
  • Personality was good fit within the company culture – 37%

“It’s important for jobseekers to remember that much of what they post to the internet – and equally importantly, what others post about them – can be found by potential employers, and that can affect their chances of getting hired down the road,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR at CareerBuilder.

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