If you’re looking for a job, you probably already know appearances matter, from your conservative dark suit and preppy tie to your social media profiles. As a reputation management company, it sometimes boggles the mind how much more time people spend getting dressed for their job interview, compared to being prepared for their job interview. Social media recruiting is here to stay.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, debated whether companies should monitor employees’ social media. I’m not sure there is much to debate, companies already do. The better question is what should job candidates do about it and I think this post has some helpful ideas.
CareerBuilder.com, a popular job marketplace, sponsored several recent surveys gauging employers’ attitudes toward social media to evaluate potential new employees.
39% of companies surveyed use social networking sites to research job candidates in 2013 and 43% of hiring managers who use social media to conduct candidate research said they found information that caused them not to hire a candidate. Part of being prepared for a new job is thinking like an employer, rather than a job candidate. Here is what you need to know…
To research candidates,
- 65% use Facebook
- 63% use LinkedIn
- 16% use Twitter
When hiring managers were asked why they use social media to conduct background research (in 2012),
- 65% wanted to see if the candidate presents himself/herself professionally
- 51% wanted to see if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture
- 45% wanted to learn more about the candidate’s qualifications
- 35% wanted to see if the candidate was well-rounded
- 12% wanted to look for reasons not to hire a candidate
In a 2013 survey, employers who chose not to hire a candidate after doing social media research shared some of the top activities that contributed to their decision. Some of the biggest issues included:
- 50% found the candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info
- 48% discovered info about a candidate drinking or using drugs
- 33% noticed bad-mouthing previous employer
- 30% saw poor communication skills
- 28% came across discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.
- 24% learned the candidate lied about qualifications
Social media, is a two-edged sword. Used effectively, social media can elevate a candidate’s likelihood of a second interview or job offer by expanding on the resume and cover letter with an interactive, visual and multi-dimensional profile that can complement the job search. In a 2013 survey, hiring managers identified the following information conveyed through social media that caused them to hire a candidate:
- 57% said the candidate conveyed a professional image
- 50% of managers got a good feel for candidate’s personality
- 50% noted that the candidate showed a wide range of interests
- 49% observed a background supported by professional qualifications
- 46% cited evidence of creativity
- 43% found great communication skills
- 38% located great references
If you want to draw a lesson about how important your online reputation is in today’s hyper competitive job marketplace, these numbers should sober you up real fast. Now try and do the same to your social media pictures and posts and do some reputation repair before you send out another resume.