Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 11 2013

Proof that Social Media Can Make or Break Your Job Search

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

Still wondering if hiring managers are
really going to factor your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts into deciding whether or not to give you a job? Well, wonder no more. CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,100 hiring managers and found that 43 percent of respondents who use social media to research potential candidates have discovered information that has caused them not to hire someone.

The mistakes range from embarrassing - poor communication skills and posting inappropriate photos - to downright terrible behavior such as discriminatory comments and lying about qualifications.

“Employers are using all the tools available to them to assure they make the correct hiring decisions, and the use of social media continues to grow,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president, human resources, CareerBuilder, said. “For job seekers, it is essential to be aware of what information they’re making available to employer, and to manage their online image.”

SEE ALSO: Your Career Is Counting On Your Social Media Profiles

The Good News

While respondents to the CareerBuilder survey showed the negative impact that social media can have on a job hunt, there are plenty of bright spots, too. In fact, 19 percent of hiring managers indicated that a candidate’s online activity has actually provided support in the decision to make a job offer.

Here’s a look at some of the opportunities to impress potential employers using your online presence, according to survey respondents:

  • Convey a professional image
  • Provide a good feel for your personality
  • Demonstrate well-rounded character with a wide range of interests
  • Showcase creativity
  • Highlight strong communication skills
  • Include references from colleagues

SEE ALSO: The Job Search Spiderweb

Employers comb through inboxes full of resumes and cover letters day in and day out, but the very public world of social media has made it easier than ever to get to know candidates on a more personal level before offering any type of interview. With a few quick searches, HR professionals can find out who you’re following, what you look like, what kind of volunteer work you do and much more. If you’re serious about finding a new position, it’s time to get serious about making sure your online activity highlights why someone should be more than your friend. You’ll want to make sure it shows why someone should be your colleague, too.

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