1 In 3 Employers Reject Applicants Based On Facebook Posts

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If you've ignored career experts' advice to be careful about what you post on social networks, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, this new survey may frighten you.

In a survey of some 2,300 hiring managers, nearly 40 percent said they screen potential hires using social media, and many say they reject job applicants as a result of what they find, according to a new survey released Wednesday by CareerBuilder.

Nearly a third of hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found problems that resulted in them rejecting the candidate. Here is what turned them off:

  • Candidate's provocative/inappropriate photos/comments -- 49 percent
  • Candidate drinking or using drugs -- 45 percent
  • Candidate had "poor communication skills" -- 35 percent
  • Candidate bad-mouthed a previous employer -- 33 percent
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion -- 28 percent
  • Candidate lied about qualifications -- 22 percent
When Social Media Helps

The CareerBuilder survey found that employers look for things like evidence of cultural fit and qualifications, which give some savvy job-seekers an advantage. Nearly 30 percent of hiring managers said they found something that caused them to hire candidates. Here is what convinced the hiring managers:

  • Good feel for candidate's personality -- 58 percent
  • Conveyed a professional image -- 55 percent
  • Background info supported professional qualifications -- 54 percent
  • Well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests -- 51 percent
  • Great communication skills -- 49 percent
  • Creativity -- 44 percent
  • Other people posted great references about the candidate -- 34 percent

CareerBuilder's survey, which found that most employers search LinkedIn or Facebook, mirror those of a similar study last year by the Society of Human Resource Management.

That survey showed that more than half (56 percent) of employers polled said they used social media sites when recruiting potential job candidates, a "significant increase from the 34 percent recorded in 2008.

SHRM also found LinkedIn was most utilized social network -- with 95 percent of employers that conduct social media background checks using the site, while 58 percent used Facebook and 42 percent used Twitter.


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