By Clay Wyatt
posted 6/21/2016

You aced a job interview. The prospective employer seemed to be very impressed with your qualifications and you were certain that a job offer was forthcoming. Then, unexpectedly, you received a generic rejection email from the employer. What happened?

While an employer may consider various factors when evaluating candidates, they’re increasingly taking social media into account. In fact, according to a study, more than half of employers do so. And according to the mentioned study, nearly half of hiring managers who do so have found a reason not to hire someone, meaning a simple oversight on social media could have been to blame in the example!

Fortunately, you can control what employers see on your social media profiles. With this in mind, here’s how social media impacts your job search and some tips on dealing with this situation.


It Can Cost You the Job

If you just resigned from your job and want to let everyone know what you really think about your former employer on social media, keep in mind that one of those individuals might be a hiring manager. And even if he never heard of your employer until he read your resume, he probably won’t enjoy it. After all, he might wonder what others will read about his firm if you don’t like something about it.

According to the mentioned CareerBuilder study, badmouthing a coworker or former employer is viewed as one of the biggest turn-offs by hiring managers who have rejected a candidate based on social media. Discriminatory comments, inappropriate photographs and others also rank near the top of the list in this regard.

As such, you’ll want to be sure not to post anything that can cost you a job. For example, that photo of you at a local bar may seem harmless, but there’s a chance it will offend a hiring manager. Or that rant about your former employer may be popular with your friends and former coworkers, but it might hurt your chances of getting a new job. 

It Can Help You Network

Social media can be used to network with other professionals. So whether your current network is limited or you just want to add a few new people to it, consider doing so on such sites.

It Can Help You Get the Job

While social media can cost you a job, it can also help you land it. In addition to networking, some ways you might use it to help secure your next opportunity include:

  • Getting recommendations from those you’ve worked for and/or with
  • Searching for jobs
  • Increasing the odds of being found by employers
  • Learning about prospective employers
  • Following organizations you’d like to work for
  • Learning more about your industry

For example, if a hiring manager sees that three previous supervisors have recommended you, this will almost certainly work in your favor when looking for a job. After all, a hiring manager will see that you’re someone who has impressed those you’ve reported to, which means they obviously think you performed well!

The Bottom Line

Social media can be an asset or a liability in your job search. Keep the mentioned items in mind as you search for your next job as doing so should increase your odds of landing an opportunity. If you’d like to learn more about finding a job, check out some of TTI’s other posts on this subject.