Forbes recently reported some interesting statistics that paint a vivid picture of how our online presence can have a far reaching effect on our future career prospects.
Did you know that the top reason for not hiring a person was due to inappropriate content posted online? Exactly half of the employers surveyed selected this as their top reason not to make a hire.
Closely followed by 48% of employers stating the reason they would not hire a person is proof of alcohol and drug use. Another popular reason not to hire was badmouthing of previous employers, with 33% selecting this as a key reason to not follow through with a hire and 24% wouldn't hire if they found people lied about their qualification.
On the flip side, some positive news comes from this, with 50% of potential employers hiring because of a good personality, 57% for a professional image, 50% with broad interests and 49% having accurate background information.
There is some bad news for those who don't have a social media presence too; if an employer can't find your digital footprint, they will begin to wonder what you have to hide.
Potential employers are looking for very specific tell tale signs.
Each employer will have their own unique markers, but each of them are looking for the same answers.
The top 3 reasons employers and recruiters alike extend a background check to social media sites are:
To gauge your professionalism
To see if you fit the company culture
To make sure you haven't told any little white lies about your qualifications
So what should you do so your social media isn't your downfall?
Refine and review!
Refine publicly viewed content and review your privacy settings. Consider the companies, groups and thought leaders you follow online. Instead of using your social media profile to vent, use it to share and discuss content that is interesting or newsworthy to your peers.
Remember, you are in a specialist industry and you have a unique skill. It is also a job of passion, so your passion should reflect in your online habits.