One in Ten Youths Has Been Declined for a Job Because of Social Media

If you’re in high school, right now you’re probably more worried about getting into a good college than getting a good job. If you’re the parent of a teen, your concerns are probably similar.

OnDevice Research published their Young People’s Consumer Confidence (YPCC) survey last week and took some time to ask young folks, some of them job seekers, about their views on the relationship between their social media usage and their job prospects. The results revealed some surprises.


Of 6,000 youths aged 16 – 34 from six countries surveyed, one in ten reports being declined for a job opportunity because of something found on social media.

As far as the responses from U.S. survey participants:

  • 70% of Americans 16 – 34 years old are not worried about social media affecting their job prospects
  • 8% of respondents in the 16 – 24 years age group have been declined a job because of social media
  • 7% of respondents in the 25 – 34 years age group have been declined a job because of social media

In our view, more than 30% of young folks should be conserned about how their social media profile could reflect on their prospects. And the fact that more people under 25 have been stung by bad online behavior than those in the older category indicates that it makes sense to be sure from an early age that your online footprint is “clean”.

Another thing that bears mentioning – the one in ten stat referenced above is only for declined jobs that the applicant knows about. Much of the recruiting/application process these days happens exclusively online, with most applicants never hearing from the company. There is a very real chance that even if one’s resume gets to the top of the pile, a quick Google search by a recruiter could mean that you don’t even get an interview.

If you are a teen more worried about college than a job, you might want to consider a few longer term issues:

  • Anything posted by or about you on the internet or social media can stay there forever, especially if it is reposted or shared by one of your friends
  • Even if you are aware of some negative content about you, it is sometimes impossible to have things deleted from the web or sites such as Facebook
  • As time goes by, it is very easy to forget that you posted something inappropriate, or even that you were a member of any given social media network, especially if you no longer use it

By all means, you should make your best effort to get into a good college if that is your goal, and there is a decent chance that the college of your choice will not choose to check out your digital footprint, although the chances of that happening are declining each year. Employers have every right to be very diligent in the recruiting process, and could very well not hire you based on something online that you consider being ancient history. Be prepared.


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

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