Illustration: Ashley Siebels
In 2017, 1.96 billion people worldwide were social media users; it is projected that this number will increase by .54 billion to a whopping 2.5 billion this year. Being that 81% of the US uses social media, chances are, you are active on at least one account.
Whether you post regularly, once a week, or every now and then on social media can not only affect your public persona but determine whether or not you get the job.
But what posts will keep you in the running? And which are potential red flags? Hiring managers share with us examples of what job candidates should stay away from when posting on social media. Take a look at what they had to say.
What are one or two real examples you’ve seen on candidates’ social media accounts that kept them from getting the job?
“Not using their real name and/or [using] offensive photos.” — Natasha Taylor, Recruiting & Hiring Manager for Rhino Staging
“[Job candidate] applies for regional director. It seems like a good fit … [O]n social media, [he] posts a rant stating that people who watch football or participate [in it] are pieces of expletive, callous foul … football causes brain damage, and those who watch it are complicit…His social opinions colored his effectiveness as regional director and could make people feel uncomfortable.” — Erica Holloway, Hiring Manager for Digital Media Academy
“I don’t necessarily look at every candidate’s social media accounts. I usually do when I’m skeptical on whether or not to bring them in. For example, if a candidate seems underqualified, things I’ll look for include whether or not they’ve been involved with the community and learned skillsets that would apply. First example, I looked at a candidate’s Facebook page and saw that he was really into music but some of his pictures were rather strange. He would post a lot of things that were hateful and cuss a lot or would brag about his drug usage and very derogatory topics. I automatically deemed him unfit for this work environment. Second example, I had a candidate whose Facebook was full of insulting picture towards women and a lot of inappropriate pictures. I didn’t think that would be a good fit either.” — Rebecca Del Cid, Hiring Manager for BrandRep
“We don’t typically look at candidate’s social media pages due to HR protocols. But if we did, I would definitely look at their pictures and how they present themselves and the language they use.” – Sarah Schroeder, Hiring Manager for American Marketing & Publishing, LLC
“We can’t keep them from getting the job based on their social media accounts; that would be discriminatory. Potential red flags to look out for are excessive drinking, acting in a manner with friends, excessive drunk pictures, and overly aggressive posts about politics and religion … [It shows there] could be a cultural problem [and the candidate] might not be able to work with other people.” — Melissa Richardson, Hiring Manager for Deacom, Inc.
Job seekers, keep this advice in mind the next time you post on social media; your job candidacy may be affected by it.