It should come as no surprise that employers are using social media to evaluate job seekers. The information on the web is fair game! Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’ve got the right online presence!
Anything and everything you find online tells you something about the person. It provides insight into who they are and what’s important to them. Now, keeping this in mind, think about the types of status updates you share. What are the themes or patterns of your updates?
So it comes as no surprise to hear that employers are checking out job candidates online, right?
Whatever you have put out there on social media is fair game – public status updates, comments on other people’s updates, mentions of you by others on social media, written recommendations on LinkedIn… the list goes on. In order to understand what’s out there, go search for your name using Google.
And if you discover some less than flattering information, clean it up.
CareerBuilder just released their annual survey on how companies are using social networking sites to evaluate candidates (and why). Here’s a summary of the survey and what you need to know.
Where Do Employers Look?
The short answer is social networking sites and search engines. A recruiter, HR rep or hiring manager may log in to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and search for your name or email address to find any mentions of you (70% use social networks). Or they could simply type your name into their favorite search engine (66% use search engines).
Deleting Your Social Media Profiles Won’t Help
If you are thinking about deleting all your social networking profiles or locking them down so no information is viewable, that’s a big mistake. Employers expect to see something. If they don’t find you online that is one more reason to reject a candidate according to 47% of employers.
Why Do Employers Use Social Media To Evaluate Job Seekers?
Employers are looking at your online presence to back up your claims, verify work experience, see if you’re a fit with the company and more! It’s easy to find this information and it takes less time than trying to reach candidates on the phone and have a conversation. These are the most popular things employers are looking for:
- 58% are looking for information on social media that supports your qualifications for the job
- 50% want to see your professional online persona
- 34% are looking to see what other people have said about you online
- 22% readily admit they are looking for a reason NOT to hire you
You Can Influence The Results
Employers say they found information online that positively swayed their opinion to hire a candidate. If you are serious about improving your odds on getting hired, then try some making some of these adjustments:
- 37% – background information supported their professional qualifications for the job
- 34% – was creative
- 33% – site conveyed professional image
- 31% – well-rounded, showed wide range of interests
- 31% – got a good feel for the job candidate’s personality, could see good fit within company culture
- 28% – great communications skills
- 26% – received awards and accolades
- 23% – other people posted great references about candidate
- 22% – interacted with company’s social media accounts
- 21% – posted compelling video or other content
- 18% – had large number of followers or subscribers
Now that you realize how employers are using social media and your online presence to evaluate candidates, stack the cards in your favor by adding status updates and content that you know will reflect your best professional image.
Some Info Hurts Job Seekers
Just as information you share online can help, it can also hurt your chances as a job candidate. Here’s what employers said turned them off of a candidate:
- 40% – provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information
- 36% – information about them drinking or using drugs:
- 31% – discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.
- 30% – linked to criminal behavior
- 27% – lied about qualifications
- 27% – poor communication skills
- 25% – bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee
- 22% – screen name was unprofessional
- 20% – shared confidential information from previous employers
- 16% – lied about an absence
- 12% – posted too frequently
Even Current Employees Aren’t Safe
Employers monitor current employees too (48%)! In fact, 10 percent do it daily! And employees have been disciplined or fired because of what they posted online. (34%)
Just Be Smart
Now that you are aware of how employers are using social networking sites to evaluate candidates and monitor employees, you can be smarter about what you share.
If you are looking for more help in proactively updating your status across social networking sites, this article will help: 10 LinkedIn Status Updates for Job Seekers
Here’s the full infographic to share!