Jobvite Survey – Social Media’s Increasing Role in Job Searches

Recruiting software company Jobvite is out this month with its 7th annual Social Recruiting Survey, which details the current state of how company recruiters are using social media to find and hire applicants.

jobvite-survey-social-mediaThe survey results are directed at employers, but also carry some important messages for those who are in the job market, or will be at some point in the future. Parents – this means your teenage kids, too. Since much of the internet is permanent, what anyone posts today can last longer than their career does.

First, a couple of high level statistics, along with our thoughts:

73% of recruiters plan to increase their investment in and use of social media for recruiting. Just as social media is becoming more ingrained in our everyday lives, it is become a more important part of the hiring process.

LinkedIn (95% use it) remains recruiters’ most widely used social network. If you’re not on LinkedIn, you should be. This is also true for forward-looking college and high school students.

83% of job seekers use Facebook in some way to aid their job search. If you’re using Facebook as a job-hunting tool, even if only to source leads and referrals from friends, you should spend some time making sure that your online appearance is professional.

82% of recruiters believe their social media recruiting skills to be only proficient, or worse. Companies are saying that they’re going to use social media more for recruiting, but admit they aren’t very good at it. If they’re spending money they will get better at it, so knowing which parts of your online activity will be scrutinized is impossible to pin down. Everything counts.

55% of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate (positively or negatively) based on their social media profiles (up 13% from 2013). It’s real, growing quickly and it is impacting hiring decisions.

What are the positive things that employers look for in a candidate’s online profile? The list is long, but some of the things are areas in which you can proactively put your best foot forward:

Industry-related posts – If you’re interested in working in a particular industry, your online profile should reflect this.

Specific skills – If you have the required skills, don’t be shy about saying so online, on LinkedIn and elsewhere.

Cultural fit – Perhaps the happy-go-lucky, partying you needs to be a smaller part of your online image if you want to look like a great candidate.

Examples of work – If you have worked on relevant projects, you can post PowerPoint decks on SlideShare or upload videos to YouTube.

Volunteer activities – if you’re giving back to the community, this looks great to employers.

What turns employer off? Pretty much what you’d expect. Here are the things that sway hiring decisions in a negative direction:

  • Profanity
  • Spelling/grammar errors
  • Illegal rug references
  • Sexual posts
  • Alcohol
  • Guns

The time when candidates could easily keep their online life separate from their professional life is behind us. For current students who have not yet entered the job market, this means that your current online activity could impact your future employment. Parents, talk to your teens about keeping it clean and professional online. If you want to be absolutely sure, you can ask us for a second opinion.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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