How Social Media Can Kill Your Chances of Landing That Job [Infographic]

social media infographicWith so many people jumping on the social-media bandwagon, employers increasingly are using such tools to weed out job applicants.

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Many job hunters already are scrambling to clean up their online profiles (especially if they've used social media inappropriately), but it turns out the risks of social media usage extend far beyond just that racy photo of you.

In a recent post on Mashable.com, sales-and-marketing expert Tony Morrison says there are several ways social media can hurt a job search. Chief among them, he says, is they way in which users socialize with others online.

While potential employers likely won't judge you based on your connections, "having a wild child as an online friend posting inappropriate status and photos still can kill your chances of landing a plum job," writes Morrison, vice president for business development at Cachinko, a job-matching and career-networking application for Facebook.

That has raised the ire of many privacy advocates, but employers aren't likely to stop the online scrutinizing. Morrison warns job seekers not to rely too heavily on social media -- or the Web, in general -- for conducting employment searches. "[J]ob search should only be about 20 percent online, and social media is just one part of that," he says, noting that social media can be a huge and pointless "time-suck."

For more insight into how employers are using social media to screen job applicants, check out this infographic from Reppler, a social-media monitoring service that helps users manage their online profiles.



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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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17 Comments

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trita

If someone does not have facebook or tweeter account, is there any risk that employer can find comments written against this person. I was trying to google my name to see if someone wrote things against me because there are always people trying to damage person reputation no mater how good a person is, it could be a jealousy or not agree on something, you find people always against you. They revenge by writing in those social medias.

March 18 2014 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brandon Dardano

Type your comment hereI really don't give a **** if an employer won't hire me because of some meaningless squabble on the internet. I'd rather live on the ******* street than be some kind of acquiescent DOG!!!!!!!!!

July 03 2013 at 10:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sky

Looking at public, unprotected online profiles is one thing. But, I have read several articles and comments from users, who claim that employers are asking applicants to friend them on Facebook, so they can view their profiles. To me this seems unethical and borderline illegal. I don't think it is illegal to ask an applicant their height, weight, age, race, place of origin, sexual preference, religious beliefs or political affiliations. But, most companies strongly warn their management teams not to even ask those types of questions, because it IS illegal to deny someone employment, based on the answers to those questions. If I were a legal consultant for a large corporation, I would advise the HR department not to ask people for access to their social media accounts. Sooner or later, some hot shot lawyer is going to be smart enough to figure out a way get a big pay day for their client, while setting legal precedence for suing companies who deny employment based on information gathered from social media sites. If you think about it, an employer might actually be able to figure out all of the aforementioned information, just by looking at someone's Facebook profile. I remember telling a guy once in a interview, that he shouldn't have asked me how old I was. He was surprised when I told him why not. I told him I had been a supervisor and I had a lot of training on performing interviews. Then I listed all of the things you should never ask an applicant. He listened, because he never had any training on how to properly perform an interview. I told him, "It's OK, you're still safe not to hire me, because I'm not going to answer the question. As long as I don't answer, you're good to go, on giving me the axe". I ended up getting the job. A few months later, the HR department started interview training classes for their managers. Make no mistake, viewing social media profiles is type of spying and it is an attempt to discriminate in a legal way. It's actually a very shady practice.

May 21 2013 at 3:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
NDeWald

This is really sad, because what this article is really saying is that there is no trust amongst employers and employees anymore. I would never screen prospective applicants based on their social media websites, why ? Because what a person does on their " off" time has nothing to do with how productive they will be during their work schedule. It is also so sad that employers are willing to give up on anyone who may be a great attribute to the company, based on their personal opinions about what the prospective employee's physical appearance is like. If our nation would work together and realize that a persons ethics and work performance has nothing to do with whether or not they have a " tattoo or not" our nation would not be in a recession. This is just plain silly and petty to assume someone who has a " tattoo" or a piercing is going to be a bad worker, or an un-educated, bothersome employee. I own a business and will never resort to this type of discrimination, and will never check candidate's personal media websites to screen them. Employers have insurance and protection and should not be afraid to take a risk by using sound judgment, when hiring a candidate.

May 06 2013 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to NDeWald's comment
KrissiDubya

I completely agree with you! How a person acts at home is completely different than how they act at work...what they are trying to do with this is mandate that people act professionally full spectrum, which is more than likely impossible. What is even more disturbing is my questions about the legality of it all, there are so many laws in place to ensure fair treatment based on race, age, gender, etc.. and who's to say these 'employers' are not checking out these profiles and do not like the person's religious affiliation or sexual orientation? I just do not think these practices are very fair at all, and should probably be deemed illegal. It is a new age of discrimination, and social media is allowing it to rapidly grow.

June 11 2013 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy F.

facebook is done"

April 12 2013 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sadiyyah Flowers

Social media sites does not kill your chances of landing a job, it is the people who put inapproiate pics, status, and have friends with crazy names on them. Smart people that use social media sites only use for networking and business purposes only.

March 19 2012 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nandi123T

If U r private how do they screen U anyway? I mean how do they get into your account to screen U at all if your private?

March 18 2012 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

Having a wild child online friend posting in-appropriate things about you is right upthere with having facial/visible tattoos and visible piercings, using foul language, a mo-hawk hair style, gold diamond studded teeth, a giant gold neck chain, etc. If I interview someone like this, even with impeccable qualifications and good personality, I don't call them back. Why ? That kind of a look will damage business.

March 18 2012 at 11:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to alfredschrader's comment
NDeWald

Alfred, what does a person's physical appearance have to do with their work skills and abilities ? I know of some workers who have tattoos and they work in an insurance office and wear business attire, they work their hearts out for the company. These "tattooed" employee's also seem to work just as hard and have just as good work quality's as any other none " tattooed" employee's. I understand of course there has to be some boundaries, however when it comes down to your remark, it just sounds discriminatory and that's too bad because some of those candidates you speak of could bring great skills to a business regardless of how they look.

May 06 2013 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
blindskeeter

Wow 6 comments.

March 18 2012 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
miriamisrael1

if it has nothing to do with work --it should not be a problem ---

March 18 2012 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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