Social Media Can Cost You a Job

July 2, 2013 ( – If you’re not careful, your social media profile can cost you a job, a survey indicates.

More than two in five (43%) hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate, up 9 percentage points from last year, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Nearly two in five companies (39%) said they use social networking sites to research job candidates, up from 37% from last year.

Employers who took a job candidate out of the running after researching social media sites reported finding a variety of concerning content including:

  • Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/information – 50%;
  • There was information about candidate drinking or using drugs – 48%;
  • Candidate bad-mouthed previous employer – 33%;
  • Candidate had poor communication skills – 30%;
  • Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc. – 28 %; and
  • Candidate lied about qualifications – 24%.

Positive Discoveries Too

However, some employers also noted that they came across information on social media sites that made a candidate more attractive or solidified the decision to extend a job offer. One in five hiring managers (19%) said they found something that caused them to hire a candidate.

These positive discoveries included:

  • Candidate conveyed a professional image - 57%;
  • Got a good feel for candidate's personality - 50%;
  • Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests - 50%;
  • Candidate's background information supported professional qualifications - 49%;
  • Candidate was creative - 46%;
  • Great communication skills - 43%; and
  • Other people posted great references about the candidate - 38%.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,184 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 11 and March 6.