45% of Employers Screen Social Media Profiles (Mashable)

26 08 2009

I thought this article from Mashable was especially interesting.  As a follow up to my guest post on Recession Mama, I thought I’d share this sobering information with you awesome people.

CareerBuilder.com surveyed over 2,000 employers and found that 45% of them are using social media profiles (i.e. your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other pages) as part of the screening/recruiting process.

Does this scare anyone?

Let me scare you some more.

According to the study, “thirty-five percent of employers reported they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to hire the candidate.” The big lessons you can learn are quite obvious, but bear repeating. Provocative photos and info are a bad idea (53% of employers won’t hire you), shared content with booze and drugs is also highly dangerous (44% dismissed candidates for this reason), and bad-mouthing former employers is very risky behavior (35% reported this a the main reason they didn’t hire a candidate).

-Jennifer Van Grove, Mashable blogger, 8/19/09 (http://mashable.com/2009/08/19/social-media-screening/)

As much as you want to remember the great times with the keg stand, it’s so important to make sure those photos are private.  It’s like running for president.  To quote Bill Clinton, “I tried marijuana once, but I did not inhale.”  Or how about this photo of Michael Phelps?

He almost ruined his entire reputation as a serious athlete with this photo.  What makes you so different?  Why would you be the exception to the rule?

I knew of a guy who blogged about “what a joke” his interviews were and how easy it was to get an offer from this company.  What happened?  His offer was rescinded immediately.

Employers want to know that they are hiring someone who is respectable and represents their business well.  In client interfacing roles, this is especially important.  What if a client happens to come across your profile… and you have a photo of yourself passed out on the sidewalk from your 21st birthday?

Not so hot, right?  They will wonder–is this guy serious?  Is he really trying to build a relationship with me when he can’t even compose himself?  The photo, of course, is completely out of context, but unfortunately, no one is going to ask about the circumstances around one inappropriate photo.

Don’t be that person.  Leverage social media to your advantage.  Or just make everything private!