Social Media Profiles May be Preventing you From Getting Hired
A recent survey of 300 professionals involved in the hiring process indicated that 91% of them have used social media profiles to screen job applicants.
Amongst the three major social networks:
- 76% used Facebook
- 53% used Twitter
- 48% used LinkedIn
The breakdown may seem a bit surprising at first. Intuitively you may think that LinkedIn would be used the most, but Facebook has a much higher adoption rate and is likely to show a bit more of what you’re really about (LinkedIn essentially serves as an online resume with network connections).
Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for dirt on you! 69% of survey respondents have rejected candidates based on what they found in your profile. Reasons cited include inappropriate photos or comments, lying about your qualifications, drinking/drug comments, negative comments about your previous employers, and confidential information shared.
Why are Recruiters Using Social Media Profiles?
This may come as a shock to you that employers are using your “authentic” musings against you, but it shouldn’t! Employee loyalty is fairly non-existent these days:
- For ages 23-27, 75% of workers were with their employer for less than 2 years, and 88% less than 5 years.
- For ages 28-32, 68% of workers were with their employer for less than 2 years, and 84% less than 5 years.
At the same time, the average cost of replacing an employing can be staggering – easily over 6 figures in many high-skill professions.
Is it any wonder that hiring managers are doing a little bit of digging online on the information that YOU put out there for them to see to help ensure that you would be a good fit for them?
How Can you Manage your Online Reputation?
You don’t want to fall victim to photos you posted from your drunken stupor that senior year of college or for some hate filled rant on Justin Bieber. Before you apply for any job, it would be wise to do a little bit of online reputation management.
Here are a few of the very least things you should be doing to protect your reputation on each network:
Click the drop-down on your name and ‘settings’ to go through each of the profile privacy controls. Turn off your activity broadcasts. Select ‘only you’ to see your connections (otherwise recruiters may reach out to your connections to ask about you). Finally, clean up your profile itself, and make sure it matches what is on your resume.
Click the drop-down on your name and ‘settings’ and under ‘account’, click ‘protect my tweets’. This won’t protect you from what others are saying to or about you, unfortunately, so you have to be EXTREMELY careful about the activity trail that you leave on Twitter. Next, click on ‘profile’ and make sure you don’t have any incriminating statements about yourself.
There is a lot of work to be done here and Facebook changes their privacy settings often. Click the arrow drop-down in the top right and then ‘privacy settings’. Start by changing your default privacy setting to ‘friends’ if it is set to ‘public’.
Next, go to ‘how you connect’ and start by changing who can look you up to ‘friends’. THIS IS KEY. Then change ‘who can post on your wall’ and ‘who can see wall posts on your profile’ to ‘Only me’.
Not done yet. Go to ‘how tags work’ and turn on manual tag review. Then change your maximum visibility to ‘friends’.
Next, go to ‘apps, games, and websites’ and click on ‘public search’. De-select others from being able to find you in search engines.
Now go to ‘limit the audience for past posts’ and limit past posts from being seen by others. VERY IMPORTANT.
You should be done. To be extra safe, go back and delete any posts or photos that may be used against you.
The best way to protect yourself on Google+ is to make yourself invisible in searches for you. Go to ‘about’, click on ‘profile discovery’ and de-select. There doesn’t seem to be a one-size fits all fix to being able to limit who can see what about you in Google+. Therefore, be very careful about what you post and with photos added.
Online Reputation Discussion:
- To your knowledge, has a social media profile ever prevented you from getting hired?
- If you’re on the hiring side, how have you secretly used social media profiles for screening candidates?
- Have you protected your social profiles?
- What tips do you have for others on how to protect your online reputation?