The majority of decision makers in large companies admit they have checked job candidates’ social media profiles.

According to a new YouGov Survey, photos and comments on social media websites are putting applicants’ chances of getting hired at risk. 28% of employers at large organisations acknowledged that they have rejected a job candidate at some point during the recruitment process as a result of their online activity.

Biggest no-nos

The things that put off employers are:

  • Aggressive or offensive language (75%)
  • References to drug use (71%)
  • Bad spelling and grammar (56%)
  • Drunken pictures (47%)
  • Political views and activity (29%)
  • Vanity (26%)

The most popular social media sites used by employers are LinkedIn (48%), followed by Facebook (46%) and Twitter (28%).

Beware…

It is not just job applicants who need to think twice about what they are displaying on the World Wide Web, but also employers on how they use the information they find.

The risks of using social media in this way are that it may give rise to claims of unlawful discrimination, raise concerns about privacy and the accuracy of the information available and rule out excellent individuals in the labour market.

To find out more, read our advice on what to consider when screening job applicants using social media and what employers need to know about social media more generally.

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