We’ve all heard the horror stories about employers researching job candidates on social media and ruling them out after spotting, say, one too many pictures of keg stands. But being active on social media doesn’t have to hurt your chances of getting that perfect job. In many cases, what you post on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter can actually help you, according to employers surveyed by CareerBuilder.
While 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media say their searches have led them to not hire a candidate due to indecent content, 33 percent also say that they’ve found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate, according to the survey.
The share of employers going so far as to say that content they found on social media actually directly led them to hire a candidate went up to 23 percent in this year’s survey from 19 percent last year.
Here are five reasons that prompted employers to hire a candidate based on their social media profiles:
- The employer valued the large amount of followers or subscribers a job candidate had.
- They liked that the candidate had interacted with the company’s social media accounts.
- They had a good feel for the candidate’s personality and concluded he or she would be a good fit with the company’s culture.
- They thought that a candidate’s social media page conveyed a professional image.
- They found out the candidate showed a wide range of interests.
“It’s important for job seekers to remember that much of what they post to the Internet — and in some cases what others post about them — can be found by potential employers,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, in a press release.
Still, there are as many downsides and dangers for job hunters active on social media. Employers in the CareerBuilder survey said they’ve discovered a litany of bad behavior while searching online about a job candidate, including:
- A candidate bragged about drunk driving and not getting caught.
- A candidate posted information about using drugs.
- A candidate posted discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion.
- A candidate’s screen name was unprofessional.
- A candidate posted inappropriate photos or comments.
The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among more than 2,100 hiring managers and human resource professionals between Feb. 10 and March 4.
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