Thursday, August 20, 2009

Social Media and potential employers - what do you need to know?

This entry comes to us courtesy of an outstanding blog, Mashable, that covers social networking. The reason it was so interesting is it demonstrates the power of social networking...but not necessarily in a way that will be beneficial to job applicants.

The crux of the entry is this: if you are looking for a job (and really, even if you have one), be careful what you post on your social networking profiles - employers are watching.

Here are the key points from the blog entry. The conclusions were based on a survey of 2,667 HR professionals.
- 45% of employers surveyed use social networking to screen potential job candidates and another 11% are planning on doing so in the future.
- 35% of employers have not hired someone based on the content they discovered on social networking. The top three reasons included provocative photos (53% not hiring based on that), content that contains references to alcohol or drugs (44%) and insulting former employers (35%). Even using the online smiley faces (emoticons) were enough for 14% of companies not to hire an applicant.

There is an upside, however - 18% of companies found content on profiles that caused them to actually hire a candidate.

The conclusion? Be careful what you put in your profile! The lines between personal and professional lives are blurring all the time, but when it comes to using social networking, it is absolutely better to err on the side of caution.

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