What does social media say about you?

When applying for a job, there are things you will need to consider in order to give yourself a boost to be shortlisted for the role; your application form is filled in to the best standard it can be, you have a great CV and glowing references… but what about your social media profiles?

According to Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey, 93% of employers use (or plan to use) social media such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to check up on their potential recruits. This is so important- over half of employers asked have reconsidered a candidate due solely to their social media presence. 3 in 10 companies even hire someone dedicated entirely to snooping on your online accounts.

According to a survey circulated by careerbuilder.com, 54% of employers rejected candidates after ‘social media screening’ them.  The main things employers will hope to achieve when checking social media is to see if the candidate has a professional online persona, that any information supports their qualifications for the job and whether there is anything publicly incriminating.  With so many applications being sent in for every job, a lot of employers are using social media screening as just another step in the recruitment process.


One popular form of social media screening used by employers, is fact checking a candidates’ CV on LinkedIn. Assuming the candidates’ profile is up to date, this could mean employers are able to find out if a candidate has lied on their application about qualifications or experience- something 75% of candidates are tempted to do.

With LinkedIn at one end of the spectrum in terms of professional representation, Facebook is at the other end with personal representation. This is where an employer would look to discover a persons’ hobbies, interests and generally to find out a bit more about the ‘real’ them.



So what should candidates avoid in their online profiles and status updates?

Time.com has listed the top mistakes people make on social media that could cost their career, and while some of these may seem like common sense, it’s easy to forget how public profiles are:

  1. References to illegal drugs – this is the topic that employers feel most strongly about
  2. Rude or provocative posts – 70% of employers say this could be a huge influence against your application
  3. Posts including profanity
  4. Posts about guns and violence
  5. Posts about alcohol consumption
  6. Poor spelling and grammar – 66% of managers said they would hold this against a candidate
  7. Posts referring to political affiliation


It’s not all bad news though; social media posts can also work for good if viewed by a potential employer.  A survey by Jobvite said that information about volunteering or charity donations left 76% of recruiters walking away with a positive impression.

Social media is a huge part of today’s world with the majority of our lives being played out online, and most employers now have a social media policy in place.  While CVs, application forms and interviews will still form the main basis of the recruitment process, it’s important for everyone to consider what they are saying before pressing the “Post” button…could it damage your chances of getting your dream job?




Social Media Survey, 2017 by Careerbuilder.com

Recruiter Nation Survey, 2014 by Jobvite

Recruiter Nation Survey, 2015 by Jobvite

Recruiter Nation Survey, 2016 by Jobvite

Posted in: Advice