Effect of social media behavior on job opportunities

By | September 17, 2014

Social networking portals have taken centre stage in everybody’s lives.

The positive and negative aspects of social media can forever be debated upon.

Every individual should be careful about what they update or post online.

Increasing popularity of social networking websites

Almost all people today are either on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+. Facebook, which has more than 900 million active users, is the most widespread social media website. Although most people use these portals to share their life with others, many organisations have recently started accessing these websites for recruitments and job search.

Candidates access these websites to gain information about latest job openings, whereas recruiters look them up to gather more cohesive information about the applicants. Companies have started their own pages on these portals, which is a very effective, fast, and low-cost marketing and advertising strategy.

According to a study conducted in 2011, almost 91% of recruiters employ these portals when hiring and screening new applicants.

Also, 13% companies rejected an applicant because they lied about their qualifications,about 11% rejected a candidate due to inappropriate posting of comments, 11% were rejected for posting inappropriate photos, while another 11% were rejected for bad-mouthing a previous employer online.

19% were rejected for posting pictures and comments about them drinking and doing drugs. Hence we can see that social media can either make or break your chances of landing a lucrative job offer.

Positive Impact

Since these websites give a glimpse of what the applicants are like outside of their resumes and cover letters, recruiters have become increasingly interested in making this a default requirement for the hiring process.

Job seekers can filter companies of their interest and interact directly with the current employees via email, messaging, or chatting. They can contact the previous employees, through company pages, and learn about their experience.

Among other things, hearing about job opportunities immediately also becomes easy. Instant notifications about vacancies update an applicant on a daily basis. This is the reason why almost all job seekers are actively involved with social media.

Consistency in information on all the social networking websites will validate and authenticate your profile, and hence your capability.

Use these portals to build your image. Candidates must focus on creating intelligent profiles, which reflect their skills and accomplishments in the best possible manner.

Making positive suggestions to queries posted by people, sharing interesting articles, and participating in constructive blogging will make your profile shine. Online discussion forums like Quora are very popular where like-minded individuals come together to discuss topics on varying degrees of importance and seriousness.

Social Site

Negative Impact

Despite all the positives, there is a negative impact of social media on job opportunities as well. Initially, all the social networking portals were devised to share and upload pictures and posts of your day-to-day activities. However, doing so with abandon now, can hurt your job possibilities in a major way.

Companies carry out a virtual background check to wheedle out any skeletons in a candidate’s closet. The rationale behind it is, that inappropriate pictures and comments reflect on a persons’ personality, which in turn can affect the productivity of an organisation.

An untoward projection of attributes can put a damper on one’s image and hence, their chance to land a profitable job.

Surprisingly, companies often check an applicants’ post to glean the level of their communication skills. We can now effectively say that even though having a profile on social networks is a necessary tool, it could also sometimes be dangerous and hurt our job opportunities.

It is therefore very important to clean-up your profile when applying for any job position. The first step in this direction is to delete any inappropriate pictures or comments. A fun-filled night of debauchery was memorable in college. It is sure to keep to unemployed for a long time if made public to prospective employers.

Customize your privacy settings so only your friends and close acquaintances can view your profile. However, do not hide everything. Keep information of value, the kind which embellishes your image, public.

Refrain from using SMS lingo when corresponding online. Make it a general habit, so you don’t slip when it’s most important to write well.

Make profiles on Linkedin and Twitter, positively, and use them! Generating connections via these portals will improve your chance of being seen as an active player by a company. Staying silent or invisible most of the time will never help at all. Do not leave the profiles dormant, and update them constructively on a daily basis.

Un-tag images wherever possible. A large number of unsuitable images on a person’s profile are the tagged ones. Remember; be careful, vigilant, and intelligent when networking online.


Awareness about digital footprints is important and smart display of virtual information a mandate. The presence of social media is nothing but an extension of ones’ resume. Do not wait till after the interview to improve your profiles. Do the needful right now.

Tina Jindal

Tina Jindal is a professional content writer who works on a variety of topics like employment, real estate, and education. She has been involved with renowned publications and has tried her hand at editing works on Cookery, Gardening, Pregnancy, and Healthcare. She loves to travel and is crazy about dogs.

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