Is Your Social Media Profile Screwing Up Your Job Search?

I found this article both intriguing and relevant because the author discusses the contemporary necessity of having a “cyber footprint,” along with the red flags associated with a poor online presence or no presence at all. The text notes that hiring managers today are looking at potential employee’s cyber footprints (social media profiles) to derive what they believe to be a conclusive look at the candidate’s personality. Founder of David Reischer discusses the ways in which companies conduct their research on the most prevalent social platforms. For example, employers tend to look at the “appropriateness” of content on one’s Facebook and Instagram while looking at one’s use of grammar mechanics on blogs. In essence, hiring managers are paying special attention to how a candidate presents one’s self online to determine one’s ability to communicate effectively and professionally in the workplace. What surprised me about the article is that employers are using LinkedIn more so to cross-examine one’s resume for accuracy and honesty rather than use the site to gain substantive knowledge of a candidate. It is also important to note that the article states that hiring managers find that possessing no social media presence can be an even greater red flag than possessing a poor footprint. At this moment in time when your comprehensive social media profile becomes your resume, not having a robust digital footprint can indeed be a red flag.

I thought this article was relevant because it demonstrates how social media is changing the game in how candidates are hired into new positions. For example, younger job seekers who seamlessly integrate social media into their daily lives may be more adept to developing a strong online presence while older generations looking for employment may find this daunting and unnatural. For instance, as a computer technology instructor, I help senior citizens develop a social media presence. Some of my patrons are even looking for new jobs. I often find that they have difficulty using sites such as LinkedIn on their own and reminisce about the days when they simply picked up the phone, talked with a hiring manager and got an in-person interview. Another way in which social media is changing the game is that it opens access for a greater number to apply for jobs. As the Internet is a platform where an individual can find and apply for jobs anywhere throughout the country, it over-saturates candidates in job markets like New York City where competition is already quite high.

How have you seen your social media presence impact your job search? Do you agree with the article’s emphasis on the importance one’s “cyber footprint”? Do you think companies get a fair representation of you based on your social media profiles? In terms of future developments, do you believe new technologies will be created to obtain even more invasive information about you while you are a job candidate?

-Andrew Maitner


3 thoughts on “Is Your Social Media Profile Screwing Up Your Job Search?

  1. I view IPA’s (internet personality assessments) as a resource for employers to explore potential hires and as the article depicted, a means to conduct due diligence within legal parameters. Traditionally, HR would check into a candidate by references, previous companies worked, etc., however, the emphasis on social media profiles is much more comprehensive since it taps into a candidate on a more intense level.

    Having the capability to access content, pictures, comments and blogs provides a more in-depth view for an employer. Presenting oneself in the social realm, if not done in a negative fashion and the cyber footprint is for the most part unblemished, can be a constructive mechanism for job search. I believe it goes back to how we want to be viewed professionally, or otherwise, lies within our own choices. With relation to future developments, there are apps and websites, such as Peoplesmart, BeenVerified, Intelius, etc. that claim the ability to obtain information such as background reports and criminal records, so I firmly believe more sophisticated tools are on the horizon, if not available already.

  2. I think that anonymous social media sites will take off as more mainstream sites are viewed and judged. I think people will start to “clean up ” their pages, maintain them but slow down on posts.

  3. I think it is borderline not fair for HR representatives to use social media presence in order to decide who to hire or not. Of course, people should be “cautious” about what they post on their social media, but how about when your friends post something and tag you? Will you be judge for your friends’ post? Since your friends think that way, does it mean you think the same way too? I am all for checking sites like LinkedIn to get a candidate background, since it is related to their professional experience, but I think it should only be limited to LinkedIn and not Facebook or Twitter. Facebook is more personal and intimate, and what you’ve done once with your friends and family, doesn’t necessarily reflects how you are for good. How about giving a person the benefit of the doubt and hiring someone solemnly based on their skills and war they can bring to the company and not based on their crazy spring break picture that one of their friends’ tag them on? Where do HR representatives draw the line and look at skills vs. personal life?

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