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Information Overload: Is social media hurting your job search?

Oct. 8, 2011 at 5:08 a.m.


By C.J. Castillo

If you have been on the job hunt for a while now and aren't getting any response, you may want to take a look at your social media accounts.

A survey released by Reppler, a company which helps folks clean up their online accounts, shows that 91 percent of hiring professionals review social networking accounts of job applicants. The top social networks used to screen job applicants include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

This shouldn't come as a surprise. How many of you have looked up people on Google, be it a new friend, relative or that guy who is always asleep in your British Lit class?

Of those surveyed, 69 percent said they rejected a candidate because of what they found on a social networking site. Some of the reasons listed were inappropriate photos posted, negative comments about a previous employer, discriminatory remarks, or lying about qualifications.

However, some candidates were hired because of what was found online. The same survey shows that 69 percent of employers hired someone after screening their online activities. The top reason listed was because the candidate gave a positive impression of their personality and showed their creativity.

It all just comes down to how you want to represent yourself online. If you don't want the whole world to find out about your obsession with ham or vintage derby hats, you may want to set your accounts to private.

So before you post those photos of you dancing with a lampshade on your head, think of how it would affect your future employment endeavors. That is, of course, unless you decide to work in a lamp store. Whatever works for you.

CJ Castillo writes about geeky stuff for the Victoria Advocate. You can contact her at cjcastillo@vicad.com. Please send all correspondence c/o Victoria Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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