Employers using social media to screen job applicants

Employers using social media to screen job applicants

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Social media can be a great way to keep in touch with long-distance family and friends. But employers also use social media to decide whether to hire you.

When you're looking for a job these days, one of the first things you probably do is you jump online to check out a company.  Companies are doing the same thing to check you out.

In fact, 90 percent of employers are looking at your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as part of their hiring practices.

"You want to always remember that your social media page is about you and your personal brand," certified human resources professional Becky Jennings said. "You need to think of it as selling yourself to the employer."

Jennings said that's why all of your posts and photos should be professional and appropriate.

A 2014 survey from recruiting firm Jobvite ranked the top six turnoffs for companies when it comes to social media:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Sex
  • Profanity
  • Guns
  • Alcohol
  • Poor spelling and grammar

Tweets, posts or comments that include any or all of these, could mean, you don't get the job.

"You just have to be very mindful, just because it's accepted socially, doesn't mean it's accepted by a conservative employer," Jennings said.

And here's one more no-no received from a hiring manager at a Lowcountry company who commented on a Facebook post: "No matter how upset you are at your employer, past or present, you should never bad mouth them on social media. A future employer will think that you will do that to them too."

"If you really feel offended that someone could look at your pages, I think it's important that you make sure all of your profiles are set to private," Jennings said.

But recruiters want to see that you use social media, so maintain a LinkedIn page, showcasing your professional experience and volunteer efforts.

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