Can Social Media Cost You a Job?

September 16th, 2016

employment screening

If you’re like 80% of Americans, the first thing you do when you wake up is reach for your smartphone. Our social media use has skyrocketed, as every minute we add 347,222 tweets , 48,611 Instagram photos, and a staggering 1,041,666 Vine loops. To say we are obsessed with social media would be an understatement.

But before you hit send on that next post, stop and ask yourself: Should I be posting this? Sure, it seems like a good idea at the moment, but would it still be worth it if it costs you your dream job?

That scenario isn’t as unlikely as it sounds. A 2014 survey by found that 51% of employers who researched candidates on social media found content that caused them to pass on the applicant. The top 5 were:

  • Provocative or inappropriate photographs or information
  • Posts about drinking or using drugs
  • Bad-mouthing their previous employer or fellow employees
  • Poor communication skills
  • Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.

You may be thinking, “But I don’t post anything negative or self-incriminating, so I should be in the clear, right?” You still want to double-check those posts before you click: In another recent survey, 66% of hiring managers said that they held poor grammar and spelling against candidates.

However, you can use social media to your benefit, as a third of managers said they found content that made them more likely to hire a candidate. This managers said:

  • They got a good feel for the candidate’s personality and felt they would be a good fit for the company
  • The candidate’s background information supported their job qualifications
  • The candidate portrayed a professional image
  • The candidate displayed great communication skills
  • The candidate was creative

Image is Everything

So how can you be sure that your social media presence is one that potential employers will want to hire? For one, avoid guilt by association. Limit who can post to your profile and monitor posts that others have tagged you in. You should also check your privacy settings. You don’t have to share everything with the world. Instead of a public profile, considering keeping it limited to family and close friends.

And lastly, evaluate what you’re posting. Before you send out that tweet, post, or photo, consider how it reflects on you. Is this how you would present yourself in a job interview? Or to your new boyfriend/girlfriend’s parents? Is it something you would feel comfortable sharing in front of your grandmother? If the answer to any of these is no, don’t post it.

Trusted Employment Screening in Delaware

If your company’s hiring practices have not kept up with the age of social media, Know It All is here to help. We offer comprehensive employment screening services in Delaware. We don’t just scratch the surface of an application: our Delaware executive background checks include social security number trace and verification and criminal check, as well as verification of all references and academic credentials.

Contact Know It All today to find out more about our expert employment screening services in Delaware.

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