Could your social media profiles affect your career?

A new report has found that one in five employers have rejected candidates because of their online activity – with business leaders revealing their online no-nos for applicants.

The data, compiled by Yougov, revealed that employers in large organisations were the most likely to have turned a candidate down because of comments posted on social media.

The market-research firm’s survey of business leaders found that 28% had done so whilst only 11% of small enterprises and 22% of medium-sized enterprises had checked their candidates’ online posts.

What this suggests is that larger firms have greater resources at their disposal into looking at candidates Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.

The social network that employers check the most is LinkedIn, with 48% having done so. 46% check Facebook, whilst a further 28% check Twitter.

But what on social media is turning off employers? Top of the list came using aggressive or offensive language, with three-quarters of survey respondents feeling that coarse, crass or bigoted posts showed a candidate who wasn’t from them.

Surprisingly, using bad grammar and spelling came in the top three candidate online put-offs, with over half of the employers citing this as an undesirable candidate action.

Rudy Sooprayen, Associate Director at YouGov Omnibus, said that its clear candidates need to concentrate on their online profiles as much as their CVs: “With one in five employers rejecting candidates because of their online activity, it is clear that many applicants have holed themselves below the waterline before they have even got close to an interview.

“While you can argue whether someone’s personal social media channels should be fair game when they are applying for jobs, the fact is that a lot of organisations are looking at candidates’ online activity. Applicants need to take as much care with their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles as they do with their CVs and covering letters.”


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