We have discussed on our website the importance of social media in your job searching efforts through avenues such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. What we haven’t discussed yet are the important implications that they all can have on your career, both good and bad. Whether we like it or not…or agree with it or not…the social media world is here to stay. Facebook recently announced that they have now hit over 1 billion users; that’s quite a feat! So what you need to know is how you can use this to your advantage and how it can hurt you.

Let’s go first through some of the pros and cons of using social media in your job search.

Pro:

  • Connect with and follow companies that you want to work for or find interesting.
  • Connect with and follow people whom you find interesting.
  • Become an industry thought leader by sharing ideas and opinions.
  • Stay up to date on the news impacting your professional industry.
  • People who are shy can instantly be seen as extroverts.
  • Allows you to reacquaint with old friends.
  • Share pictures and videos of fun times with your friends.
  • And the list goes on…

Con:

  • Hackers have an opportunity to steal and misuse personal information.
  • Too much online interaction can hurt face-to-face time.
  • Anyone can post or tag regrettable information or photos of you.
  • You can lose a job or relationship from misuse.

By creating this simple pro and con list, we can easily see that there are more pro’s to using social media than there are con’s. False. Have you ever heard the expression, “It takes years to build and maintain a relationship, but seconds to ruin it”? The same applies to social media. You can spend years cultivating a great network on all of your networks, becoming the thought leader for your industry and thus widely respected. However, in just one second someone can post a picture of you on Facebook or Twitter and it can all go downhill. Now, you may be thinking, “I have privacy settings that block that from happening.” If you do, then that’s great! You are already ahead of the curve than most people.

But what about hurting your own chances? What about those controversial posts? The questionable language? The picture posted 3 years ago from a party? The people you are friends with? All of these are part of who you are and can hurt your chances of landing the job of your dreams. It is crucial that you stay on top of your online reputation! First, you must expect that anything you post…anything… will and can be seen by future employers. So simply use your discretion. Take a look at your privacy settings and make sure they are current and up-to-date.

Below we have listed out some simple solutions for you to help monitor your online reputation.

  • Use Google Alerts to monitor what people say about you on Google.
  • Use a service like TweetBeep to get email alerts when people mention you on Twitter.
  • Consider creating dual profiles. One for your personal life and one for your professional life. While this may seem extreme, it can help minimize potential damage.

Now that you have a good understanding of how to better manage your Social Media usage, we can explain how it relates to the job searching process. Social media monitoring service, Reppler, has surveyed over 300 hiring professionals to determine when and how recruiters are screening candidates on various social networks.

The study found that 69% of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on what they found on social networking profiles. This is based on 91% of the recruiters saying that they use social media to screen prospective employees. 19% responded saying they did not hire the candidates because they found out they had lied about their qualifications.

Reppler has also determined the top 5 “it” factors for all candidates. These top 5 factors help give you the edge you need to land the job.

  1. The candidate gave a positive impression of their personality and organizational fit.
  2. The profile supported their professional qualifications.
  3. The profile showed that the candidate was creative.
  4. The candidate demonstrated solid communication skills.
  5. The profile showed that the candidate was well-rounded.

Check out the infographic below for more results from the survey.

How Recruiters Screen Candiates Using Social Media

Author's Bio: 

A Better Interview was founded by HR professionals who want to help you land your dream job by improving your interview skills. We have discovered a gap in the services provided by the major job searching websites and interview help sites, thus A Better Interview was founded.

There is no reason why you should not have your dream job; it simply takes a good interview to get there.

A Better Interview rises above our competitors that just sell you a DVD or a couple of self-help documents that leave you to figure out how to interview on your own. We have interviewed thousands of clients and helped them achieve their dreams.