1 In 10 Young Job Hunters Rejected Because Of Their Social Media

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FacebookYou've heard the stories of employees fired for social media posts: rants about work, remarks about supervisors, or photos in compromising situations. But many people don't realize how what's on Facebook, Twitter and other services can keep them from getting hired -- particularly those between the ages of 16 and 34.

According to a new study from market analyst firm On Device Research, 1 in 10 young job seekers have lost a job opportunity because of their social media profiles. In the U.S. alone, the total was 8 percent among those 16 to 24 years old and 5 percent for those 25 to 34 years old.

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Chances are those percentages will grow, as 70 percent of the young American surveyed said they were not concerned that their social media use could hurt their career prospects. A whopping two-thirds said that the possibility of social media having an impact on their future careers wouldn't keep them from using it.

Checking Social Media 'Routine': The underemployed college grad has become a sad cliche in the new economy. Yet, On Device research found that 65 percent of young people expect to get a job that pays them more than their parents earned. The reality is that they won't if they come across badly on social networks.

It's now routine for hiring managers to check social media accounts of applicants and reject those who don't measure up. One survey from the social-media monitoring service Reppler of 300 people involved in hiring at their companies said that 91 percent of hiring managers surveyed used social networking sites to screen prospective employees. About 69 percent had rejected candidates for what they found.

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Almost half looked at social networks right after receiving an application and another 27 percent checked after an initial conversation with the applicant. In other words, 74 percent -- almost three-quarters -- use social media early in the hiring process. Make a mistake and chances are you won't have an opportunity to set the record straight.

What Gets Candidates Dinged: A different and larger study from CareerBuilder.com of 2,300 hiring managers said that 40 percent of hiring managers looked at social networks to check candidates and about a third of them dismissed candidates based on what was found. The top four things they looked for in hiring were a good feel for the candidate's personality, a professional image in social media, background that supported claimed professional qualifications, and evidence of a well-rounded personality and wide range of interests.

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So, what will get you off the fast track to employment? Here are the top problems, according to both studies:
  • Provocative or inappropriate photos or posts.
  • Content about drinking or using drugs.
  • Bad-mouthing a previous employer.
  • Sharing confidential information from a previous employer.
  • Poor communications skills.
  • Discriminatory comments based on race, gender or religion.
  • Lies about qualifications.
If you've had a hard time getting a job, you might consider reacquainting yourself with your own social networks and see the impression that you may be giving.

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