Posted September 11, 2009 8:29 pm by with 7 comments

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Capt Kirk in TroubleYou hear the stories all the time. The human resources manager decides to do a little ORR (online reputation research) on a job candidate. They hear that they is a great candidate for a job opening. They are the best interview by far and the scuttlebutt in the office is that they are the person for the job. The HR folks then do some basic Google searches and they uncover some other data about the “candidate”. What’s this Flickr page with pictures of the candidate passed out in the bushes after a night of “entertaining”? What about some tweets that the candidate fired off to sound cool but forgot that they were creating their own online resume? Then the candidate doesn’t understand why they didn’t get the job. The candidate now has to go back to the drawing board.

eMarketer reports on research conducted by Harris Interactive for to find out just how much this kind of scenario plays out in the real world and not just as urban business legend. Guess what? It’s real and becoming more commonplace as social media grows more influential over time. HR folks are doing search engine searches as well as looking at LinkedIn profiles and any other data they can access. The results are a bit startling

The findings were more likely to get candidates rejected than hired: 35% of HR professionals said social networking content had caused them to eliminate a candidate, while only 18% reported deciding to employ someone based on a profile.

The top reasons for rejection were, unsurprisingly, “provocative or inappropriate photographs or information” (53%) and information about drinking or using drugs (44%). But job candidates were also hurt by negative postings about their previous employers, poor communication skills, discriminatory remarks and other faux pas.

At this point in time if you are allowing this kind of information to be representative of you in social media setting then you are an idiot. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are you need to be aware of this and if you don’t take heed then you get what you deserve.

Now, let’s look at the plus side of this. If you do the right thing with your online presence you can help your cause.

Good Things for SM and Jobs

Do you have any stories about people who likely lost or landed a job opportunity because of their social media profile? If so please share (obviously you need to change the names etc). Now go out and have fun this weekend. Just don’t brag about how much ‘fun’ you had. Your social media footprint is a deep one and it can hurt you in the short and long term.

Remember, friends don’t let friends use social media while drunk.

  • Its only common sense that you put online only THAT which you want the world to see. It shocks me how really, well, idjut-like kids are these days with what they share….
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..9/11/01 – Remembering 8 years ago =-.

  • Slowly this issue is becoming more visible – and about time too. it’s interesting to note that the younger demographic – who are very well versed in all forms of digital and social media communication – are also the ones who aren’t deveoping their online footprint in a professional capacity. Even more so, in todays job market a pro-active and positive personal reputaion management strategy is a necessity. The paper CV is dead, people are now being measured online, those who understand and act now are the ones who will find themselves better placed to avail of the opportunities that still exist.

  • I think that social media will create this pitfalls even more as time goes on. People sometimes don’t realize just how important it is to keep their online reputation as clean as possible.

  • No surprise here … I’ve always been uber sensitive to exposing personal stuff online. Not because I have anything to hide but because I am a private person. At least once each week I land a new client who comments that they did “Google me”, were impressed and that what they saw was part of their decision to hire me. So one cannot underestimate the potential ramifications of not using discretion when exposing your life, opinions and activities online.

    The only place I go personal is on FB (and even still I am selective about what I share) and I have that locked down to only approved family and friends. Real friends (not social media “friends”) — those I know, have talked to and trust. Otherwise I am all business and recommend the same type of restraint and methodology to my clients.
    .-= Judith´s last blog ..Have You Forgotten 9/11? =-.

  • Yeah you have got to be really careful about what you are tweeting and saying out in the social media world. I heard of a employee getting fired because of his facebook status, he capped off on his boss. Now a days your life is an open book.
    .-= Steven Roddy´s last blog ..4 Free Restaurant Marketing Ideas =-.

  • If you’re careful enough, you can really use this to your advantage else it can destroy you and there’s no way you can remove or control your digital footprint.

  • santa barbara seo

    I love your articles, I have been checking out your site over the past few months, and I really like the content here. This is a great article. I think your design is excellent!! Your article regarding social network media and its effect for job seekers is an eye opening article. It reminds us to be very careful in the things that we do on our social network accounts since it can be used against us.

    Your article is a warning message to us so that we will be more vigilant in managing our accounts and to be less tactless in the things that we say or post online. Thank you so much for your article. More power!