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Social Media and Job Applications: Is Your Online Presence Costing You Job Opportunities?

Take a moment to review your social media profiles before applying for any job. It's not limited to just Facebook; this applies to all of your social media accounts.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, more than 50% of employers have discovered social media content that led them to decide NOT to hire a candidate.

The survey also revealed the following findings:

  • Seventy percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates during the hiring process.

  • Nearly half of employers (48%) check the social media activity of their current employees.

  • About one-third of employers (34%) have taken disciplinary action or terminated an employee based on content found online.

As social media has become an integral part of both our personal and professional lives, the things you post online can have significant and long-lasting consequences. Employers who chose not to hire a candidate based on their social media content cited the following primary reasons:

  1. Posting provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos, or information (40%).

  2. Sharing information about drinking or drug use (36%).

  3. Making discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. (31%).

  4. Being associated with criminal behavior (30%).

  5. Lying about qualifications (27%).

  6. Demonstrating poor communication skills (27%).

  7. Speaking negatively about previous employers or coworkers (25%).

  8. Using an unprofessional screen name (22%).

  9. Sharing confidential information from previous employers (20%).

  10. Lying about absences (16%).

  11. Posting excessively (12%).

On the other hand, employers who found content that influenced them to hire a candidate stated the following reasons:

  1. The candidate's background information supported their professional qualifications for the job (37%).

  2. The candidate demonstrated creativity (34%).

  3. The candidate's online presence portrayed a professional image (33%).

  4. The candidate appeared well-rounded and displayed a wide range of interests (31%).

  5. The employer gained a positive impression of the candidate's personality and believed they would fit well within the company culture (31%).

  6. The candidate exhibited excellent communication skills (28%).

  7. The candidate had received awards and accolades (26%).

  8. Others posted positive references about the candidate (23%).

  9. The candidate had interacted with the company's social media accounts (22%).

  10. The candidate shared compelling videos or other content (21%).

  11. The candidate had a substantial number of followers or subscribers (18%).

It is crucial to objectively evaluate your own social media accounts. Try to view them through the eyes of someone who has never met you before.

Ask yourself: "Would I hire myself based on what I see there?"

If your answer is negative, make the necessary changes before submitting your next job application.

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