Here’s a warning to the 57 percent of the 500 juniors and seniors in college polled by social media reputation-protection utility Persona who do not believe they have inappropriate content on Facebook: 69 percent of job recruiters have rejected candidates based on content found on Facebook and other social networks.
While 71 percent of college students responding to the Persona survey believe Facebook profiles are “influential” or “very influential” components of hiring decisions, Persona also found that:
- 55 percent “never” delete or untag inappropriate photos and posts, or do so only “once a year.”
- 80 percent would feel “comfortable” or “very comfortable” if a recruiter examined their profiles.
- 57 percent rely on privacy settings rather than actively monitoring their profiles.
Persona Founder and CEO Lee Sherman offered the following advice for students who are about to enter the job market:
- Show your personality: Employers hire people they like and want to spend time with. In an interview, it is possible that an employer will ask about hobbies and personal interests to get to know the candidate on a more personal level. So get an advantage before the interview and use Facebook to showcase personal experiences. Post photos of a big trip or community involvement to share a more personal side.
- Go back in time: Facebook never forgets. Be aware that recruiters and potential employers will not only look at Facebook profiles, they will go back in time to the earlier posts. No one, not even the most careful candidate, wants recruiters to see photos or posts of them from their teenage years. Monitor content now, and go back in time to delete content from the early days.
- Network: According to another survey by Social Jobs Partnership, 60 percent of employers cite Facebook’s networking abilities as important. Job seekers can use this pool of connections in two ways: First, to secure an interview by reaching out to the whole network of friends, which significantly increases potential job opportunities; second, once an interview is secured, look for friends and friends of friends to see if there is an existing connection to the organization. During this process, make sure to treat each connection as a possible client, colleague, or manager.
Without precautions in place, social media can ruin the job hunt and damage your reputation and credibility. While students can monitor what they post, it is much harder to keep track of some 400 Facebook friends who all have the potential of posting an off-color comment on your wall or a questionable photo of you. The last thing you want to do is raise concerns among recruiters in this competitive job market.
Readers: How confident are you that your profiles would pass muster in the job-recruiting process?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.