To many, the use of social networks is something that is done without thought. Most don't put much thought into the comments they post or the comments that are shown on their social networking pages.
The catch for heavy social media users is that a growing number of employers are now screening candidates for jobs by searching for their social networks or blogs. According to a new survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 45% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. Last year, only 22% of employers used social networks.
Not only are employers using social networks for screening candidates, the survey found that many are using the social networks to weed out candidates. Of those who use social networks 29% searched Facebook, 26% used LinkedIn and 21% use MySpace.
Some industries are more likely than others to use social networks in the screening of potential employees. The survey found that 63% of Information Technology employers are using social networks and 53% of employers for business and professional services.
Of the employers surveyed, 35% say that they found things on social networks that made them not hire a candidate. The most common reason was the posting of provocative or inappropriate photos, followed by content about the candidate drinking or using drugs.
The survey also found that 14% of employers have ruled out a potential for using an emoticon in an email or job applications. 18% of those surveyed said they had found content online that made them hire candidates.
The top reason for hiring from content found online was that a profile gave a good feel of the candidate's personality and how well the person would fit with the company. In addition, 39% said that the profile supported the professional qualifications of the person and 38% said they felt the candidate was creative.
Better start behaving online as well.