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Don’t Let Social Media Kill Your Job Chances

Social Media Site Twitter Debuts On The New York Stock Exchange
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Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and many other social media sites are slowly taking over much of our daily communication. Facebook has over a billion active users. Twitter is getting ready to go public and sell stock. Ninety-seven percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to find qualified workers. These sites are a regular visit for most of America to the point of addiction for some.

It’s Not When You Post, It’s What You Post

Being retired is a great asset if you are going to use social media. I can pretty much take a stand on any issue without worrying about being called on the carpet by a boss or manager who disagrees with my position. It’s a very liberating feeling to fearlessly speak your mind.

In the movie, “The Social Network,” Mark Zuckerberg’s angry, ex-girlfriend tells him, “The Internet is not written in pencil; it’s written in ink.” Which of course means that once you post something, it’s pretty much out there forever, and accessible by anyone. Here are some things to remember before you start tapping the keys.

What Job Recruiters Look For On Social Media Sites

When job recruiters search for you online there are some traits they are looking for that indicate what kind of employee you might be. Here are the results from several online job services surveys.

  • 57% of recruiters are looking for postings that convey a professional attitude.
  • 50% of recruiters see a well-rounded personality as a plus.
  • 49% are looking for a confirmation of the candidate’s qualifications.
  • 46% are looking for an indication of creativity in the potential candidate.
  • 43% of recruiters are looking for good communication skills, vocabulary, punctuation and word usage.

Social Media Posts That Could Sabotage Your Job Hunt

More and more Human Resources professionals and recruiters are turning to social media as part of the job screening process. It’s the equivalent of your future boss listening in on your conversations after you’ve had one too many at the local watering hole. Here are a few things recruiters look for that will relegate your resume in the round file.

  • 50% say that inappropriate language, and/or photos are a candidate killer.
  • 48% said candidate comments about drinking or taking drugs ended their consideration as a future employee.
  • 33% said “bad-mouthing” a former employer would disqualify a job candidate.
  • 30% of candidates failed to make the cut due to poor communication skills. Spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and phrasing.
  • 28% said candidates that made derogatory racial, sexual, or homophobic remarks online would not make the cut.
  • 26% of recruiters found that applicants lied about their qualifications by checking their online profiles and comments from their friends about their work history.

Some Final Thoughts

I always thought the rule that if you wouldn’t say it in front of your Mom, your Pastor, your Rabbi, or your Priest then do not post it online. Just because it might sound funny to you it might be hurtful or derogatory to someone else.

In most cases you are sharing thoughts with friends, and they are your friends because they think similarly to you. But if someone shares your thoughts with others those people may not get the joke.

Most of us strive to be good people. But a few misplaced keystrokes can destroy a lifetime of accomplishments and good impressions in a split second. It’s not a good idea to post when you’re upset, depressed, or had a few too many adult beverages or substances. Be civil, cordial and no personal attacks. Social media can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you use it. Make it work for you — not against you.

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