The six social media faux pas that may cost you that big job

According to this recent survey from, the number of hiring managers who are reporting that a job candidate’s social media indiscretions have cost them a position is up nearly 10%, while the overall use social media to vet candidates continues to grow.

Those surveyed, reported finding a variety of concerning content. Top mentions ranged from evidence of inappropriate behavior to information that contradicted their listed qualifications:

  • 50% – Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info
  • 48% – There was info about candidate drinking or using drugs
  • 33% – Candidate bad mouthed previous employer
  • 30% – Candidate had poor communication skills
  • 28% – Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc.
  • 24% – Candidate lied about qualifications

The same survey indicates that a candidate’s social media use can also separate them from the pack. One in five hiring managers (19%) said they found something that has caused them to hire a candidate – top mentions include:

  • 57% – Candidate conveyed a professional image
  • 50% – Got a good feel for candidate’s personality
  • 50% – Candidate was well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests
  • 49% – Candidate’s background information supported professional qualifications
  • 46% – Candidate was creative
  • 43% – Great communication skills
  • 38% – Other people posted great references about the candidate

[HR ProTip: If you screen candidates with social media, to reduce the appearance discrimination, have a non-decisionmaker search social media and provide the ultimate decisionmaker with a sanitized internet report (i.e., all protected-class information removed) for his/her consideration]

Are you one of those companies using social media to vet job candidates? If so, why? Or are you concerned that using social media to research applicants is more trouble than it’s worth? Let me know in the comments below.

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”
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