hand on jail bars

Your online presence is critical to getting the best job for you. Potential employers WILL check your social media presence. And offensive online behavior will lock you out of a job!

Reppler, a handy site that enables you to monitor your online image across multiple sites, recently put out a survey to 300 HR professionals regarding their company’s tendencies surrounding usage of social media to screen job applications. Here are four key takeaways from the survey that all potential job seekers should be aware of:

1) 91% of respondents indicated they screen a candidate’s social media sites during the hiring process.

2) 76% check Facebook, 53% check Twitter, and 48% check LinkedIn.

3) 69% have rejected an applicant due to a poor online presence or unbecoming behavior on social media.

4) 70% have hired a candidate based an impressive online presence and personal brand.

Yes, freedom of speech still exists online. However, so does an employer’s right to access public information on the internet to screen job applicants to make sure they are a good fit. If you are exhibiting any of the following counter-productive behaviors, you may be costing yourself the career advancement opportunity you have been working hard for!

Here are behaviors that are likely to have long lasting effects on your personal brand:

  • Photos of yourself looking intoxicated
  • False career info
  • Radical political views or engaging in heated exchanges
  • Curse words or offensive language
  • Violent imagery
  • Posting how much you hate your job
  • References to illegal behavior, or photos of yourself doing something illegal
  • Poor spelling and bad grammar
  • Posts that show a pattern of high drama in your personal life
  • Racial slurs
  • Signs of being an online bully, stalker, or troll
  • Nude photos—sexting over social media will come back to haunt you!
  • Patterns of excessive use of personal social media during business hours
  • Patterns of being a spammer

Don’t be unaware of the effects these bad behaviors can have on your career!


Beth Kelzer
Follow Beth at LinkedIn.com/in/marybkelzer

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Photo by Weston MacKinnon on Unsplash