Know Who Is Checking Out Your Social Networking Sites

by Brian Skory

Major Study By surveyed 3,100 employers to find out how many of them look up prospective employees on social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and such). The study found that over 20% said they are currently using social sites to find out more about job applicants, and 10% more intend to begin.

What Are Employers Finding?

The CareerBuilder study found that:

  • 41% of candidates post information about their alcholol or drug use.
  • 40% of candidates post photos or information that are of a pornographic nature.
  • 29% of the candidate's content display poor communication skills.
  • 28% of the candidates badmouth former employers or co-workers.
  • 27% of the candidates lie about their qualifications.

What Impact Might This Have On Getting Hired?

One employer received over 100 resumes for a particular position and simply went through the list, one by one, eliminating candidates based on their social network site's content. A recruiter I personally know was very excited to present a highly qualified candidate to an employer and had to reject the candidate based on information posted to their MySpace site.

What Can Be Done?

Besides the obvious (don't post incriminating content about yourself, and limit who has access to your sites), people should make sure to give some thought as to who might (or will) be viewing their pages.

Use It To Your Advantage

Take advantage of a professional social networking site such as LinkedIn. Paint the professional picture of yourself that you wish could come across in a resume but can't due to its limited length (just be sure to be accurate and truthful, because those "embellishments" tend to come back and bite you as well). Occasionally I will get a resume that references the candidate's LinkedIn site and I have found that in more cases than not it gave the candidate a considerable advantage.

As always, we're interested in hearing how your job search is going. Feel free to contact us.
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