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Could social media stop you from getting your dream job?

Jan 26
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Could social media stop you from getting your dream...

Inappropriate photographs, statuses and behaviour on social media sites could be creating barriers between candidates and their dream jobs, according to the Protecting consultancy.

The firm claims that businesses are increasingly trawling through Facebook to research prospective employees, meaning an unsavoury social media footprint could see candidates being rejected.

Up to three-quarters of managers admit to having a peek at the profiles of both potential and existing staff members, and dumping anyone who could bring the reputation of the company into disrepute.

Mark Hall, a spokesperson for the national health and safety law consultancy Protecting, warned: "The job market is so competitive these days, which means employers are only taking on the best applicants. That means your social media presence has to be absolutely spotless, and the Facebook trawl is becoming standard practice in recruiting."

The company's survey of 550 managers found that 74 per cent look for candidates' Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to see if they undertake behaviours that are unsuitable for the job they are applying for.

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) admitted to rejecting a candidate based on social media postings, with almost a quarter (24 per cent) having warned current staff about their behaviour on these websites. While bad behaviour was frowned upon, not having any visible profiles was deemed suspicious by 15 per cent of the respondents.

Protecting found a lot of managers were willing to provide examples, with one explaining that a candidate's CV looked promising, but his public timeline on Facebook was full of swear words, as well as racist and sexist jokes. The respondent added: "Suddenly, I wasn't so keen to offer him a job."

Another said that a prospective employee had been endorsed for his talents as a 'party animal' and 'getting the waccy-baccy in' on LinkedIn, rather than having any useful skills authenticated by other people, which saw his application rejected.

However, recruiting managers have also been pleasantly surprised with what they have found on a candidate's social media accounts. A respondent said: "One candidate's application wasn't so great, but her Facebook backed up all the voluntary work she claimed she did. We took her on, and she's been one of our finest investments."

The results of the survey suggest that job-seekers and those currently employed need to manage their own public image and think hard about what they are doing and saying on social media sites.

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