Professionals use social networking to land jobs and advance their careers. When job hunting, a strong personal brand can boost the chances of getting an interview, but those who’ve yet to consider their online image may be in for some surprises. Employers admit that social media affects the hiring decision because a quick Google search can reveal lots about a candidate’s technical and cultural fit.
Although common practice, many job seekers carry onward, posting inappropriate material online or neglecting the social sphere altogether, because they believe not all employers screen via social media. Well, let’s see what the statistics have to say:
- Career Builder reports 51% of employers have denied applicants because of online content (43% in 2013 and 34% in 2012);
- Cross Tab Marketing estimates 75% of companies have policies in favour of online screening;
- Workopolis notes that 60% of job seekers anticipate social screening in Canada, 25% of whom view this practice as unethical;
- William Staughton at North Carolina State University concludes two-thirds of professionals believe social screening to be an invasion of privacy (results compiled from two separate studies).
The above outlines only some available research in this field. For more information, consult Reppler’s Infographic on social media applicant screening.
Unfortunately, whether or not you agree with social screening, it happens. To protect yourself, then, understand the things that negatively affect your chances of employment – inappropriate photographs, posts about alcohol or drugs, poor communication skills, discriminatory comments, criminal behaviour and so on – as well as those that might improve your eligibility – cohesive branding, creative or valuable content contributions and so on.
About: FlexStaf-IT is a Canadian-based organization that connects qualified I.T. personnel with companies offering short- or long-term contract assignments, permanent placement positions, and fully managed end-to-end I.T. project solutions. [Job Seeker’s Handbook 1] [Job Seeker’s Handbook 2].