Within a couple of years, a majority of employers are likely to be checking the internet and social media as part of the hiring process, possibly before even granting a first interview. It’s time to consider, if you haven’t already, what your social media footprint tells a prospective employer.
The results of a study on social media and hiring practices by careerbuilder.com published last month found that 39% of hiring managers are now checking out candidates online, and 43% of those have found reason online to not hire someone. The results offer some insight into what types of negative signals employers are actually looking for, which include:
- Provocative, inappropriate or discriminatory photos or info
- Drug or alcohol use
- Negative statements about previous employer
- Poor communication skills
- Proof of overstatement of qualifications
Conversely, only 19% of employers reported finding something online that made them more likely to hire a candidate. The math is pretty simple. Your online footprint is twice as likely to hurt your chances at that next job than it is to help.
If you are looking to do a cleanup, you might start by checking your privacy settings. Employers can generally only find info that is set to public. The exceptions to this occur when a friend of yours shares content that you’ve posted. In that case, you’ll have to ask the friend to take down whatever was posted.
Next, Google yourself. Keep in mind that others may have posted something about you without your knowledge. If you don’t like what you find, especially if your name is a rare one, you have some work to do.
The days of our personal lives and our professional ones being completely separate are fading fast. It takes some effort to ensure that your online profile shows you in a way that you’d be happy for an employer to see.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.