The Social Network Perils of Job Hunting

self-made motivational poster and job interview attire by slushpup - all know that when we go for a job interview our social network profile will probably get a once over by HR or we'll at least have a Google search done on us but in the social network/job interview scenario the odds, it seems, are stacked against the candidate. 

The latest newsletter from eMarketer, that gets to grips with how social networks help and hinder job candidates, makes for some eye-popping reading.

Out of the total HR professionals polled 18% said that a person's online profile had encouraged them to make a job offer. A profile can work in a candidates favour. It can show that you're a good fit for the company, professionally and creatively, which would be tricky to determine from an interview alone.

However there are so many ways we can go wrong with our own profiles. A much larger proportion of HR professionals (35%) agreed that social networking content had caused them to eliminate a candidate. Displaying provocative or inappropriate photographs on profiles was the biggest reason with 53% of candidates getting rejected that way. Information about alcohol and drugs were a close second with 44%. Employment prospects were also harmed by comments slating old employers, poor communication skills and lying about qualifications.

eMarketer newsletterWhat was most interesting in the findings was our feelings about our own profiles in the work place. The study found that:

"We guard our privacy to avoid being seen as inappropriate and unprofessional"

If we were asked to show our profile in a work meeting just over half (55%) of us said we would ask why before obliging. Just over a quarter (24%) of us would refuse and 8% would just up and leave. Only a small percentage (11%) would bare our social network souls, no questions asked.

What would you do if the boss asked you to show the room your Facebook profile?

I'd like to think I was part of the 11% crowd and oblige willingly but in all honesty I would most likely refuse or at least de-tag the dodgier pictures first. 

Picture courtesy of slushpup. Some rights reserved.