Social media may help or hurt your job search

Limestone College Business

Recent college graduates are increasingly turning to social media to look for jobs.

According to The Class of 2014 Student Survey Report by National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), use of social media in job searching has grown 21 percent since 2010.

That’s not surprising considering that an overwhelming majority of graduating seniors, some 94 percent, have a profile on social media.

When asked which Internet site they used the most, close to 60 percent of seniors said LinkedIn, up by 24 percent in just two years. LinkedIn now ranks as the number one site seniors use to obtain employer information.

However, there are mixed feelings among the graduates regarding whether or not social networking sites should be used for college recruiting. While only 42 percent say they should, over 70 percent of graduates do expect employers to view their social networking profiles nonetheless.

This disparity may have something to do with the employers disqualifying job candidates due to their social media accounts. According to a 2013 CareerBuilder Survey, “more than two in five hiring managers who currently research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them not to hire a candidate.” The top reasons mentioned were inappropriate photos, use of alcohol and drugs, badmouthing previous employers, poor communication, discriminatory comments, and lying about qualifications.

While your profile can cost you a job, it turns out that it can also help you land one, though not at the same rate. In contrast to the two in five hiring managers who disqualified candidates due to their social media profile, only “one in five hiring managers said they found something that has caused them to hire a candidate.” What did they like? Top mentions include professional image, well-rounded interests, creativity, good communication and positive references.

Limestone students pursuing bachelors and associates degrees in business should consider how their social media profiles might portray them to potential employers. For a few tips on how to clean up your profile and use social media to your advantage, check out this Forbes article.

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