Clean up your ‘digital dirt’; bosses check your social media profiles

WASHINGTON — Now, more than ever, your online self could cost you a job.

A CareerBuilder survey says 70 percent of hiring managers now routinely search social networking sites to research job candidates, and half have found content that caused them not to hire someone.

“It can be used for good and for evil, so you want to (make sure) that you are really cleaning up that ‘digital dirt’ and having that presence online that you want to have because employers are going to be looking you up,” Ladan Nikravan-Hayes at CareerBuilder told WTOP.

But you also want to make sure you at least have some online presence.

“Nearly half of employers say that if they can’t find a candidate online, they are less likely to call that candidate in for an interview. And when we asked why, 28 percent say it’s because they like to gather more information before calling a candidate in for an interview. And 20 percent say they just expect candidates to have an online presence,” Nikravan-Hayes said.

It is not just bosses who are background checking potential employees either. Your current boss may be looking.

The CareerBuilder survey of employers found a third of them have reprimanded or even fired an employee for their online content.

A good online profile? Information that supports qualifications for a job, a professional persona, what other people are posting about you, lots of followers and awards and accolades.

A bad online profile? Posts about drinking or drug use, discriminatory comments, poor communication skills, an unprofessional screen name and provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information

CareerBuilder interviewed more than 1,000 hiring managers and human resource officers in April 2018 for its survey results.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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