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Social Media Impact

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A huge factor in people getting or losing a job, is social media posts. Career builder says the number of employers using social media to screen job candidates has increased 500 percent in the past decade. Sixty percent of companies now say they use social media to help them make hiring decisions.

Author Dan Schawbel says, when it comes to applying for jobs these days, "Your first impression isn't made with a firm handshake-it's with a Google search. Because companies are looking at your social media posts as an extension of your resume', your virtual self could hurt or help your real self get a job."

Matthew Griffiths likes to engage in discussions online about political and social issues as well as current events.

"I don't think that should bar someone from getting a job," said Griffiths.

He knows his opinions aren't always popular, because two employers recently told him during job interviews, they didn't hire him after researching his social media accounts.

"They said, we looked at your Facebook and Twitter and don't think you have the same beliefs we have don't want to hire you," said Griffiths.

He agrees, it would be appropriate for companies to reject an employee for posting sexual photos or drinking or using drugs, but he doesn't think it should apply for someone voicing their opinions about issues of the day. 

"I did project management, I did social media management, but you're upset because I made a comment two months ago. That's obnoxious to me," said Griffiths.

But, it is a growing trend and more so for some jobs than others. Here are some of the top reasons that turned off employers:

  • provocative, inappropriate photos, videos: 49%
  • information about drinking, drugs: 43%
  • discriminatory comments about race, religion, gender: 33%
  • bad mouthed previous company or employee: 31%
  • poor communication skills: 29%

The biggest posts that turned off employers were sexual photos, videos, drinking and drugs, discriminatory comments about race, religion or gender, followed by bad mouthing your previous company or employee and finally poor spelling and grammar in your posts.

Experts recommend you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to a boss or co-worker in person.

Matthew says he is posting less, but, still voices his opinion because he believes it's his right to freedom of speech. He thinks companies should use social media to see what type of person you are, but not to censor you.

"You can see what they like to do on their free time, look at their pictures, oh, they have dogs, they don't go out and drink every single night, but I don't think they have the place to say, you said this, we don't agree with you, we don't want to hire you," said Griffiths.

These are the top things companies learned on social media that caused them to hire someone:

  • background info supported job qualifications: 44%
  • conveyed professional image: 44%
  • personality seemed like a good fit for company's culture: 43%
  • well rounded, wide range of interests: 40%
  • great communication skills: 36%

If you get a job offer, don't post it unless you get permission first and remember, it's not over once you get a job. Career builder says 41 percent of companies research their current employees and 26 percent found something that led to a reprimand or firing someone, But, the truth is, you're still more likely to be fired for being chronically late, not following directions and poor work performance.

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