Job searching and social media go far beyond searching company social accounts for job openings. Personal posts can come back to bite prospective employees or even current employees and impact future employability. Just think, you or your teen might be excited about a social media post getting hundreds of likes or retweets, but who will end up seeing the post? Will a future employer come across it and use it as a reason to not hire your teen? What anyone posts on social media matters more than they might think. The number of employers searching social media accounts has increased 500% in the last decade.

93% of hiring managers review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision. So that “joke” your teen and their friends find funny might cost your teen employment. Maybe tomorrow, maybe years down the road. However, if social media is used appropriately, teens will have a leg up on the competition.

Job searching and social media, how social media can make or break a job search

Job searching and social media are a perfect pair for success or failure. Prospective employees can utilize social media to come across as a great fit for a company or social media can hurt the chances of a prospective employee, depending on what job recruiters find on social media profiles. Employers are searching social sites and what they find can impact their perspective of potential and current employees.

Businesses use social media for various reasons

Businesses utilize social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn extensively to recruit talented employees.

LinkedIn’s career focused interaction is makes it the most popular social network for employers keeping tabs on candidates. Facebook and Twitter are also utilized during most aspects of the hiring process, but Facebook is utilized much more than Twitter.

Social media used most in IT industry

The Information Technology industry is the most likely to check social networks to research applicants. If your teen plans to enter the IT industry, they should consider high privacy settings on their social media accounts. Other industries most likely to use social networks to screen employees include:

  • 76% of IT companies
  • 65% of Sales companies
  • 61% of Financial Services companies
  • 59% of Health Care companies
  • 59% of Retail companies
  • 56% of Manufacturing companies
  • 55% of Professional and business services companies

The retail industry figures are important to note as 21.7% of teen summer jobs fall in that category. Additionally, 32.2% of teen summer jobs are in accommodation and food services.

What sites do recruiters search?

When used appropriately, social media can actually help your teen land a job. There are numerous ways teens can capitalize on a recruiter’s presence on social media. Again, LinkedIn leads the way:

  • 94% of recruiters search LinkedIn for candidates
  • 66% of recruiters search Facebook for candidates
  • 52% of recruiters search Twitter for candidates

When job recruiters see experiences and qualifications they like on social media, they may offer a position through that same social media platform.

Inform your teens to understand that what they post can both qualify and disqualify them for a position.

What do job recruiters search for?

What stands out most to job recruiters? Recruiters generally aren’t searching for reasons not to hire someone; conversely, recruiters are looking for reasons to hire employees. Recruiters search professional experience, length of professional tenure, industry-related posts, mutual connections, examples of previous work, and cultural fit.

  • 44% check candidate’s background information
  • 44% check that a candidate conveys a professional image
  • 43% check that a candidate fits the company’s culture
  • 40% check that a candidate is well-rounded and shows a wide variety of interests
  • 36% check candidate’s communication skills

Also worth noting:

  • 65% of recruiters have reconsidered hiring a candidate after seeing on their social profile that they volunteered or donated to charity.

Be sure your teen’s social profiles are cohesive with resumes and job applications and that profile pictures convey a professional image. If there are conversations that show weak communication skills, delete them or set your privacy so others can’t see.

7 costly social media mistakes

While employers are looking for positives on social media, certain posts stand out to potential employers. The following often result in a candidate being reconsidered for a position.

1. Drug references

83% of job recruiters say any sort of reference to illegal drugs is “the worst thing you can do.”

2. Sexual posts

70% of recruiters say they count sexually inappropriate posts against a candidate.

3. Profanity

63% of the time recruiters reconsider a candidate when they come across social media accounts filled with profanity, they will reconsider a candidate.

4. Racist or sexist posts

33% of the time candidates are turned down when discriminatory remarks related to race, religion, or gender are found on their social media account.

5. Aggressive or derogatory remarks about previous employer

31% of the time talking poorly about a previous company or fellow employees results in a dismissal from candidacy.

6. Poor communication skills

29% of the time job recruiters turn down applicants who display poor communication skills such as broken language or poor punctuation.

7. Absence of an online presence

41% of job recruiters are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find any information about that person. This lesson is clear. Tell your teen to have fun with social media respectfully and wisely.

Employers check employee’s social media accounts

Employers don’t stop watching individuals on social media after hiring them.

5 Job searching and social media tips

Teens should manage their social media image to stand out to employers:

1. Scrub personal social media profiles

Inspect social profiles for questionable images or posts and delete anything that could negatively influence a recruiter or employer.

2. Monitor what friends say

Have your teen limit their friend’s ability to tag or post on their profile. If friends don’t respect your teen’s personal privacy and post negative things, your teen should consider blocking them.

3. Fine tune privacy settings

Have your teen make accounts as private as possible. Facebook has a handy tool that allows users to view their own profiles as the public would. Tell them to consider: Is my profile representative of who I am?

4. Create professional accounts

Have your teen create professional accounts. They could create a professional Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram, using them as mediums to talk about, and engage in, the industry they’d like to enter.

5. Be active with social media accounts

Your teen should commit to staying active on professional-style accounts. Inconsistencies such as not posting for an extended period of time may come off as suspicious.

Social media for the win!

Successfully managing social media profiles is a valuable tool for teens. It allows them to focus on future opportunities without worrying that something from their past might be used against them when they’re searching for jobs or up for a big promotion. Social media is a powerful tool and growing exponentially. With such opportunity, it’s a waste not to use it to benefit your future.