Why Social Media May Harm Your Job Search and How to Avoid It

By Donna Moores

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During the early days, social media sites were perceived as advanced platforms for connecting people across the globe. In a narrow sense, only friendships were deemed to limit the potential of social media. However, as the trend gradually changed with the passage of time, people began taking advantage of social media’s power, instead of just building friendships.

Social media has now become the global digital market for job search and recruitment.

Why should you use Social Media for Job Search?

Employers just aren’t limited to the resumes, cover letters or interviews nowadays. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ allow them to catch a glimpse of your personality and your abilities.

Here are a few stats that illustrate how social media can make or break your career:

  • In response to a recent poll initiated by LHH, around 89% of the job seekers use social media sites
  • Around 35% of employers claimed that they are less probable to interview candidates they can’t find online
  • A survey based on the responses of more than 2000 employers reveals that 37% of the employers use social media sites to hunt for potential job candidates.
  • Around 65% of the employers use social media to find whether the candidates present themselves professionally or not.
  • 45% of the employers do not hire a candidate due to the content posted on his or her personal profile

If you’re one of the 89% job seekers, you might want to be careful when using social media sites as it can also obstruct your pathway to a successful career.

So, what causes the employers to reject job seekers in the first place? There must be some reason for rejection. As a matter of fact, there is – or rather are.

Social Media Factors that May Harm Your Job Search

The 2017 Recruiter Nation Report from Jobvite lays out several factors that repel the recruiters and may harm your job search on social media. These factors are listed as follows:

  1. Talking About or Sharing Images of Drugs

According to Jobvite’s report, when a candidate talks about or posts a photo of using drugs, like marijuana, 60% recruiters indicated that posting about drugs leads to a negative impact and lessens the chance of the candidate getting hired.

  1. Ranting About Provocative Politics

Sharing provocative political posts are viewed as a red alert among the recruiters, which turns even redder when the candidate starts ranting about sensitive political issues.

  1. Lack of Proper Communication Skills

Majority of the youth today commonly uses SMS language which seems to be more convenient to type. Words are shortened and grammar rules are ignored to fit into a 140-character tweet. However, if you are looking to gain some practical exposure, a bad spelling, terrible grammar, and incorrect use of communication skills can downgrade your chances to be chosen by an employer. 48% of social media recruiters imply that poor spelling and grammatical errors make them change their mind when selecting a candidate.

  1. Exposing Alcohol Online

Sharing photos from the party last night where alcohol was the main theme is seriously not going to get you anywhere. Your search for an internship or a great job can be damaged to an extreme extent and might impose a negative impact on the recruiters.

  1. A Big and Wealthy Show-off

Show-offs don’t really impress anyone in real life, but in a professional setting, the habit of showing off may even cost you your job. If you keep showing off your big purchases and wealth on social media sites, you may indispose potential recruiters and employers to hire you.

  1. Too Much Skin, Too Many Selfies and Limited Presence

Not all recruiters approve of their employees exposing too much skin online or are selfie kings/queens on the social sites. If you’re searching for a job and are crossing the limits of too-much-skin and too-many-selfies simultaneously, the recruiters are likely to pause even before digging deeper into your profile. Also, your limited presence might ward employers off.

Some other factors include showing discriminatory behavior towards people of other races, religion, and sex, sharing malignant posts regarding previous employer or company, misinforming about qualification, showing criminal activity, sharing private knowledge from former employers, amateur social names and handles, posting too often, and lying about absence.

How to Avoid Social Media from Negatively Impacting Your Job Search

Now that you have learned about the social media factors that can jeopardize your search for an internship or a job, here’s how you can avoid them and generate work opportunities:

  1. Don’t post inappropriate ideas, photos, or such content

Recruiters on social media sites scour profiles to learn about the candidate’s suitability and position for their company. It’s better to keep your social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn professional and sharing clean content. Before you share any inappropriate content regarding drugs, politics, discrimination, profanity, and guns, think about how your family would react to that.

  1. Be Careful About What You Say and Permit Others to Say

As social media sites are all about posts, pages, and discussions, making relevant connections might aid you in your search. Employers search for skilled candidates who are passionate, dedicated and committed. If you keep everything professional and limit the content share from some misbehaving friends, employees might judge you positively by your professional profile.

  1. Incorporate Engaging Content In Your Profiles

If you want to keep attracting potential recruiters, the best way to do that is by keeping your profiles updated and professionally-oriented. The recruiters are out there treating social media profiles as CVs; you must make sure that your profiles reflect and maintain your professional identity by engaging the employers with high-quality, relevant information, and engaging content.

  1. Avoid Maligning Previous Employers and Companies

No matter what tiff you’ve had with your previous employers, NEVER EVER malign your previous bosses online. By doing so, you’ll only tarnish your own profile and scare the recruiters away. All you have to do is say nothing negative about your former company, colleagues or bosses. Keep your spats away from social media at all costs.

Final Words

As per the demands of the digital job marketplace, searching jobs on social media sites is a must for those wishing for a better life. If you’re searching for an internship or a job and want a sound and potential recruiter to select you, you may want to avoid the social media mistakes that may ruin your job hunt. All you need is a professionally-oriented, high-quality profile to help you get your dream job.

Author bio:

Donna Moores is a recruiter with more than 5 years of experience and a blog writer at HandMadeWritings. She has gained an outstanding HR experience within the biggest industries and businesses, which she pleasantly shares with the readers. Check out Donna's recent post on College Raptor.

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