Report: hiring managers reveal what to do and what not to do on social media
You should never post online pictures of yourself naked and drunk, but if you’re going to do it, do it on Tumblr. According to our most recent survey, hiring managers don’t check there.
We asked them whether they check a candidate’s social media during the hiring process and, if so, what social media they check. Some of those responses surprised us a little bit.
While a recent survey by social recruiting platform Jobvite found that 93% of hiring managers will screen candidates via social media, our study found that only 63% say they do so. The other 37% are not looking at your social profiles.
Asked which profiles they will check, respondents said:
- LinkedIn 91%
It’s no surprise that employers are looking at your LinkedIn and Facebook. Perhaps slightly surprising is that only 28% check Twitter, given that nearly 300 million people use the site.
Captain Obvious says, “Put down the drink and put on some clothes.”
We also asked employers whether they have seen something that has moved them to not hire a candidate. Nearly half of respondents, 48%, said yes. What did they see? The most common themes were “inappropriate” behaviours, including:
While it should be fairly well understood by now that posting pictures on social media of yourself acting unprofessionally can impact your job search, these responses suggest that not everyone is clear on the concept.
Responses to the same question about what caused them not to hire a candidate also included variations on the theme of “information did not match the resume.” Keep your information consistent. Also mentioned were racist and sexist comments, and expressing ill-informed opinions, which is not a rarity on social media. Also, something about an alien apocalypse. Scroll down to the bottom for ten sample responses.
What do employers want to see? Kindness, warmth and charity.
Asked whether they had seen something that made them more likely to hire someone, 38% said yes. What had they seen? The responses included many comments about professionalism, and some nods towards “normal” pictures. But the most common themes were positivity, kindness, family, charity, and community spirit.
It appears that employers want to like you. They want to see indications that you work hard, are nice, and are willing to give of your time and energy – not that you’re an opinionated, foul mouthed party animal.
The takeaway? Take a look at your social profiles and ask yourself whether someone would look at it and say “I think I will trust this stranger with a job and give them money to do it.” Then, if the answer is yes, ask whether you’re lying to yourself. Then make the appropriate changes to your profile.
Unless it’s Tumblr. Apparently, you can post whatever you want on there.
Ten things employers saw in social profiles that made them want to hire that person
“Community participation, charitable service.”
“Athletic accomplishments – Marathon runner lending credit to traits like perseverance and commitment.”
“Giving back to their community.”
“A recent candidate had not included their volunteer service on their resume but from
reviewing their social media it was apparent that they were a strong supporter of charitable organizations in the city. That tipped the scale in my hiring decision between that candidate and another.”
“Articulate, professional and tastefully creative content.”
“Thoughtful posting of articles.”
“The candidate looked very friendly and it made us want to contact her.”
“Pictures of volunteering or being a great parent.”
“Kindness, compassion towards humanity issues.”
Ten things employers saw in social profiles that made them not hire that person
“Negative comments about previous employers.”
“Saw a post that they were going out drinking at the same time as their scheduled employment interview, which they obviously didn’t show up for. Needless to say they didn’t get the job.”
“Drinks in hand, partying in a bikini, comments on pictures using profanities, comments about hating the 9 to 5 grind.”
“Suggestive photos easily visible on Facebook. Not the image we want for our company.”
“A young man who had presented himself as very clean cut and well mannered had pictures of himself and his friends engaged in a fistfight with another group of individuals. The comments were outrageous targeting the other group based on race and economic status.”
“Sexist postings objectifying women.”
“Very angry face on the profile picture.”
“Inappropriate posts that were opinionated and ill informed. Candidate did not get to interview stage.”
“The person’s profile had many pictures of them engaging in illegal drugs.”
“A personal website dedicated to the promotion of their personal belief in an impending alien apocalypse.”