Social Media Can Help or Hurt Job Searches

If there’s a chance you’re going to be in the job market any time in the coming years, you’d have to be living under a rock to be unaware that things that you post online might have an impact on your job prospects. Added to that, your current employment may be impacted by your online activity. Statistics vary, but generally speaking about 90% of hiring organizations use the internet to find candidates, and 75% of hiring managers are quick to check out candidates’ online profiles. Existing employers can check too.

job-searchA new survey by Jobvite highlights current statistics on how companies are using social media to recruit and vet candidates, and how job seekers are either using social to their advantage or being hampered by it. The survey polled 2,135 Americans aged 18+ who were active in the labor force or looking to be. A look at the highlights:

21% of respondent found their “favorite or best” job through social media – This number is likely to move higher over time, and it is not only LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter were listed as well. Incidentally, 59% of employers list candidate referrals via social media as being of high quality.

Social job seekers use the media to vet company cultures – Candidates aren’t just looking at a company website – LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Twitter were all listed by college grads as good sources.

Candidates use different networks in different ways:

Facebook and Twitter – used to refer friends, seek referrals and also to seek current employees’ perspectives

LinkedIn – referrals, perspective on an employer and connecting with an existing employee

Job seekers’ behavior is changing as candidates recognize that recruiters are looking at social media. Playing defense, if you will.

40% have modified some portion of their social media presence. Of those:

  • 17% have deleted accounts entirely
  • 17% have deleted some content from their accounts
  • 12% have untagged themselves in photos

The survey listed the things that recruiters find to be a negative in online profiles and the top three were profanity, use of bad grammar and punctuation, and alcohol use. They didn’t reveal the rest of the list but in talking to employers, we hear that evidence of racism, homophobia, harassment and general bad judgment can all be red flags.

The fact of the matter is that at any age, having a digital identity that is free of all negatives and professional looking puts candidates in the best position possible when it comes to the job market. Taking it a step further and making sure the online persona that you have out there makes you look professional and trustworthy is worth the time and effort it takes.

If you don’t get a job you’re interested in because of negative online content, you will never hear the real reason you were declined. Recruiters will just move on to the next candidate. There may be accounts online that you’ve forgotten about or don’t use any more, or content online posted by others about you. If you are unsure whether your online profile is up to snuff, we can help. Our one-time audit works for adults too!



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

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

Leave a Reply