Can a Facebook Post Keep Me from Landing That Job?

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How social media is becoming part of employer background checks.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a great way to connect with friends and family and meet new people. Many of us probably have more than one profile where we post pictures, share videos, and let everyone know what we made for dinner. It can be fun and entertaining.

However, you can run into problems while sharing your life and opinions on social media sites.

How social media infractions can ruin your chances at a new job

If you are a prospective employee looking for a job, you should know that the content you post online can come back to hurt you. More and more employers are looking at social media profiles when considering job candidates. According to a national survey conducted for CareerBuilder, “70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring, up significantly from 60 percent last year.”

What are employers looking for in these background checks?

  • Information to support a job applicant’s qualifications
  • A professional online persona
  • What other people have posted about the candidate
  • A reason not to hire a candidate

The CareerBuilder study also showed that over half of employers, “found content on social media that caused them not to hire a candidate.”

Types of posts that could get you into trouble:

  • Posting inappropriate images, videos, or information
  • Posting information about drinking or doing drugs
  • Making discriminatory comments related to gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation
  • Candidate lied about a qualification such as education or previous jobs
  • Poor communication skills
  • Linked to criminal behavior
  • Shared confidential information about a previous employee or client

Note: These same types of posts can also result in the loss of your current job. There have been many stories in the news about employees who have been fired after posting offensive content or sending inappropriate company emails.

Social media done the right way

Your online persona can help you land a job. According to the CareerBuilder study. “4 in 10 employers (44 percent) have found content on a social networking site that caused them to hire the candidate.”

What can help you land a job?

According to a Forbes article, “In some cases, it was that the employer got a good feel for the candidate’s personality. Others chose to hire because the profile conveyed a professional image. In some instances, it was because background information supported professional qualifications, other people posted great references about the candidate, or because the profile showed that the job seeker is creative, well-rounded, or has great communication skills.”

Social media is a wonderful tool that can give prospective employers insight into who you are and what you might bring to a company. Keep this in mind and ensure that what you post reflects your personality, character, experience, and professional capabilities.