Your social-media presence can hurt — or help — your job chances

WASHINGTON — We’ve all heard the stories about how what you post on social media can turn off potential employers. We don’t hear as often, however, about how it can help.

CareerBuilder’s recent survey found that 51 percent of employers who search prospective employees on social media find information that leads them not to hire them.

But it turns out that one-third of the employers surveyed also said they found content that made them more likely to hire the candidate, including 23 percent who found information that directly inspired them to hire the person who posted it.

So let’s focus on the positive. What good stuff did they find?

The popular responses from employers included getting a good feeling for the candidate’s personality; showing creativity and communication skills; seeing a passel of awards and accolades; and seeing that the candidate had already interacted with the company’s own social media.

Still, some people don’t seem to be getting the message about social media presence and the workplace: CareerBuilder says that the 51 percent of employers who were turned off by applicants’ social media represented an increase over last year.

Some of the most spectacular social-media fails the survey uncovered:

  • A profile with links to an escort service;
  • A photo of the candidate’s arrest warrant;
  • A candidate who posted his dental exam results;
  • Bragging about driving drunk and not getting caught; and
  • Posting an exercise video for grandmothers (it must be presumed that exercise for grandmothers was not included in the job description).

The survey was given to more than 2,100 hiring managers and human resources professionals, as well as more than 3,000 workers.

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