How Your Social Profiles May Be Hurting You

Recruiters, headhunters, & staffing professionals actually look at your social profiles.

On the same level as my previous post… I was thinking about how people’s social profiles may be inhibiting their careers and the other morning I stumbled across The Social Business blog, they posted an older article that I found rather interesting (original post: Erica Swallow via Mashable), this ultimately led me to reading through the Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey (which is in its 5th year of conducting this survey). Truth be told, I’ve been thinking this is the direction people will be going for a while now and I’m glad there are solid rising metrics to support it. Recruiters, headhunters, staffing professionals (both internal and external) take into consideration your social profiles and here’s some info on what could be holding you back from landing that dream job.

In a survey performed by Reppler, gate keepers of companies have been screening out applicants based on the candidates’ social presence – so much so that 90% of the surveyed hiring professionals have perused at least one social network venue of a potential candidate. Further: a whopping 69% of these staffers have rejected an applicant purely based on the content of his/her social network profile.

A few notables from the Mashable post:

o   47% said they check out the prospective candidates social networking sites BEFORE the initial conversation. This means you have a high chance of getting rejected before you can charm your way into an interview.

o   Reasons for rejections: There isn’t one defined reason, but there does seem to be a trend… being inappropriate. Simply put: anything you wouldn’t want your bubbie to see don’t post. You are putting yourself on display, you aren’t behind a one way mirror, all can see what you do. Everything you post says something about you and people WILL base their judgments on that. If you ‘right’ instead of ‘write’ or use ‘two’ instead of ‘too’ it may give off the impression that you aren’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Let’s be honest, these people who are screening your criteria put their name on the line for you, they act as your agent; they don’t want to be embarrassed. So if you aren’t well polished (your work experience and your social networking profiles) you will most likely get declined (remember to take down that YouTube video).

o   5% don’t view any social networking profiles.

o   68% said they hired someone based on what they found on the candidates social site.

o   Reasons for hires: Pattern here is that it’s all positive. Being able to Tweet relevant news (that isn’t negative) or share a link on LinkedIn (that’s not overly controversial) and being able to spell correctly apparently isn’t done by all – shocking, I know. By being appropriate, relevant and creative you make for an appetizing candidate that the staffing professional will want to engage. Treat these outlets like the back of a book for your personality, you don’t want to reveal all of the twists and turns, this is merely something to entice them.

A few notables from the Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey:

“While LinkedIn continues to dominate social recruiting at 93% adoption (up from 87% in 2011 and 78% in 2010), Facebook and Twitter saw bigger growth margins in the past twelve months. 2/3 of recruiters now use Facebook, a jump of eleven points from 55% in 2011. With more than 900 million users, employers clearly want to tap this huge talent pool. For the first time, more than half (54%) of recruiters now use Twitter for their talent search, revealing the importance of watching what you tweet”… “More than 7 out of 10 employers have successfully hired a candidate through social media (73%). This is up 15 points from 58% in 2010”

The top five topics recruiters react negatively to:

  • References to doing illegal drugs (78% negative)
  • Posts/tweets of a sexual nature (66% negative)
  • Profanity (61% negative)
  • Spelling/grammar errors (54% negative)
  • Pictures of alcohol consumption (47% negative)



With these fantastic growing numbers we can make a strong assumption that this will continue to progress and become the (overwhelming) norm. A good way to get a leg up on competition is make sure all of your social outlets are casting you in a positive light; and if you don’t have a social presence established you might want to get to that sooner rather than later…

Let me know your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “How Your Social Profiles May Be Hurting You

  1. Useful article. Thanks for posting.

  2. Makes a lot of sense.

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