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Top Reasons your Social Profile could be Hurting You!

Social Media Monitoring Server, Reppler, conducted a study recently and found that 91% of recruiters and hiring managers have visited a candidate’s social profile on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter as part of the screening process.  This figure is much higher than I suspected and it demonstrates the due diligence many recruiters are using in trying to find the best candidates.  Maybe even more surprising is that 69% of those surveyed admitted to rejecting a candidate based on the content found on their social profile, while an almost equal number hired a candidate based on their positive social presence.

Here are the top reasons why a candidate was rejected and ones to which all job seekers should pay attention.

  • Lied about their qualifications
  • Posted inappropriate photos/comments
  • Posted negative comments about their previous employer
  • Demonstrated poor communication skills
  • Made discriminatory comments
  • Posted content of themselves using drugs

With competition for jobs so intense, don’t many of these blunders seem too obvious to make, or are job seekers underestimating the screening process of the companies to which they’re applying?

I’ll admit that I didn’t realize so many managers were reviewing these sites, but a candidate has to understand that a search of their social profiles could happen and that pictures of them partying at the local watering hole are not going to paint the flattering image of a good employee.

Candidates need to be conscious of the fact that their profiles are not off limits to everyone but their friends.  Your profile is a glimpse into your private life or rather the real you, not the dedicated, hardworking employee you portray during the face-to-face interview.  You may look great on paper, in a video interview, or even in person but if company XYZ has a choice between choosing a guy whose Facebook pictures show him crossing the finish line of a 15K or you crashing through a pyramid of beer cans, which job candidate is going to get the job, much less the interview?

So in looking at the top reasons above the moral of this story is simple.  Don’t lie, don’t bad mouth your past employer, don’t do drugs, and for heaven’s sake, curb your racist tendencies or better yet just don’t be a racist at all!  Or at least don’t advertise it on the internet.

About The Author

Ryder Cullison

Ryder has more than 10 years of experience working with retained search clients as a search professional. As a pioneer of Interview4 he has great knowledge of video interviewing. He writes about all things hiring and looks forward to engaging with his audience on topics of leadership, recruiting, candidate screening, and employee satisfaction. Follow him on Twitter: @hireintelligent and @cullison1

2 Responses to “Top Reasons your Social Profile could be Hurting You!”

  1. April 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

    the same thing. If I ask for references, I’m only going to get the plpoee that will say good things. And if I call a company, I’m going to get next to no information, for fear of lawsuits.That being said, I do usually call former employers, and run the education through with my standard background check. I consider it fact checking.Now that there is case law precedence in most states now that protect employers when they give truthful information, so I hope that many HR departments will loosen up the reins a bit. Just because that’s always been the policy doesn’t mean its a good one, and in many cases, I think this fear is old school and has been unfounded. My candidates have been signing consent and release forms for years.It benefits everyone concerned when you can get accurate information (on strengths and weaknesses) to make informed hiring decisions. I’ve had decent luck, particularly in small towns, where everyone knows everyone in getting managers to talk to me about their former employees, and that’s helped me make some great hires, and side step a few disasters.

    • July 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      I think that many recruiters are relaly, relaly busy and as such, they work on the squeaky wheel’ theory. People who make the most noise, or who have the most impact on their day, get the attention (e.g. the hiring managers). I was recently running a workshop for a client and we were defining SLAs for Candidate Care. The recruiters wanted to set their SLA as three business days to return phone calls to candidates! This is because they just couldn’t see any other way of getting through the volume. Obviously this is unacceptable.Some things we came up with include:Returning phone calls:•Keep a ‘call sheet’ by your phone where you list all phone calls to be returned and can keep track of them in one place•Set aside a specific time every day to return calls (i.e. one hour in the afternoon)•Set a goal for getting through them and feel good about your achievement – returning candidate calls is part of your role, it is not wasting timeUse voice mail to set expectations:•If you are in interviews all day and returning calls is impossible, say so in your voice mail message. Redirect the caller to send you an email – it is easier to reply to emailsUse your out of office function in your email:•Again, if you are in meetings all day, set expectations for when you will respond to candidate enquiriesI think candidates are ok if you set realistic expectations (and keep to them!).

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