Sure, you may be qualified for that job you're trying to land, but something you said on Facebook might turn off potential employers. This has been true for years, but companies' reliance on social media to screen potential employees is only rising. According to a recent study, over half of employers are researching job applicants on social media.
The study was conducted by CareerBuilder, who found that 52% of companies surveyed are checking on potential employees' Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts. That's up from 39% just two years ago.
As an employer, are you increasing your attention to possible employees' social media accounts? What exactly are you looking for? As an potential employee, how important is it to clean up your social media accounts? Let us know in the comments.
According to the study, here are the biggest red flags for employers and the percentage of which caused them to reject a candidate:
Provocative or inappropriate photographs – 46 percent
Information about candidate drinking or using drugs – 40 percent
Candidate bad-mouthed previous company or fellow employee – 34 percent
Poor communication skills – 30 percent
Discriminatory comments related to race, religion, gender, etc. – 29 percent
One of the more interesting finds from CareerBuilder's study is that whitewashing your social media accounts may be a good idea, but deleting them entirely might not be so smart.
"As this trend continues, some employers are starting to consider a candidate's absence from social media to be a red flag. More than one third (35 percent) said they'd be less likely to interview someone they couldn't find online," they say.
Long story short, employers might find it strange if you're not on Facebook or Twitter – not only that, but they might overlook you if they can't find any information about you online.
And if you've done your due diligence and made much your information private, you may find a friend request waiting in your notifications. The study found that "35% of employers who screen via social media have requested to be a friend or to follow candidates who have private accounts."
What could you find in a possible employee's social media past that would cost them the job? Let us know in the comments.