Study: More Employers Are Looking At Your Social Media Than Ever Before

Privacy symbol with digital globe, 3d renderIt’s no secret that potential employers snoop on the social media profiles of potential job candidates. And according to a recent study from CareerBuilder, more of them are doing it than ever before.

The research found that 52 percent of companies now use social media sites to look at job applicants, up from 43 percent in 2014 and 39 percent in 2013. However, they aren’t necessarily looking for incriminating evidence; 60 percent said they’re searching for evidence that actually supports an applicant’s qualifications for the job, while only 21 percent of companies said they’re looking for reasons not to hire someone. However, the study also found that 48 percent of hiring managers have found information that stopped them from hiring a candidate.

Here are the most common reasons why companies pass on a potential employee:

  • Inappropriate pictures (46 percent)
  • Drinking or drug use (40 percent)
  • Bad-mouthing previous employer or fellow employees (34 percent)
  • Bad communication skills (30 percent)
  • Derogatory comments (29 percent)

Another surprising statistic is that employers are 35% less likely to interview a candidate if they can’t find information about them online.

Thankfully, there can be a positive side to all that snooping. 32 percent of companies said they actually found information that caused them to hire a candidate. But this study only confirms what most savvy Facebook users already know: it’s always a good idea to represent yourself well on the site, but it’s downright essential if you’re hunting for your next job.