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Nonprofit HR’s Blog

By Leslie Walbridge

Times have changed and the days of trying to make your social media presence invisible to potential employers have passed. However, do not misunderstand that this is because employers have stopped looking for you online. CareerBuilder has surveyed hiring managers who use social media in their recruitment, and their findings show that your online presence can literally make or break your chances of getting hired. More than two out of five hiring managers surveyed (43 percent) reported found information online that caused them not to hire a candidate.  Fortunately, CareerBuilder’s survey also found that one in five hiring managers (19 percent) will find information online that will influence them to hire a candidate.

In the press release about this recent survey, CareerBuilder’s Michael Erwin noted the following: “The research suggests that hiring managers are using social media to get a glimpse at the candidate’s behavior and personality outside of the interview, and are most interested in professional presentation and how the candidate would fit with the company culture.” Hiring managers are always keeping an eye out for cultural fit while recruiting.

Find out more about cultural fit and hiring.

It is important to use social media for networking and finding jobs, but it is crucial that you do so in a way that will boost your application. Maintain your social media presence carefully, update your privacy settings, and use your profiles to supplement your resume. Remember that 19 percent of hiring managers who found material online that caused them to hire a candidate? Here is some of what they saw:

  • Candidate conveyed a professional image – 57 percent
  • Got a good feel for candidate’s personality – 50 percent
  • Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests – 50 percent
  • Candidate’s background information supported professional qualifications – 49 percent
  • Candidate was creative – 46 percent
  • Great communication skills – 43 percent
  • Other people posted great references about the candidate – 38 percent

However, the survey results suggest that more employers find negatively influencing factors than positive ones. The following behaviors were most commonly cited as reasons to remove a candidate from consideration:

  • Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info – 50 percent
  • There was info about candidate drinking or using drugs – 48 percent
  • Candidate bad mouthed previous employer – 33 percent
  • Candidate had poor communication skills – 30 percent
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. – 28 percent
  • Candidate lied about qualifications – 24 percent

When you are looking for jobs, you no longer need to delete your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other profiles to try to prevent being seen by potential employers, but you do need to treat your profiles as extensions of your application. The savvy jobseeker will streamline their application materials and their social media presence with the culture of their target organization.

Learn more about how employers are using social media.

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