Social Do's And Don'ts For Job Hunters

In the job market? Consider these 5 ways your social presence can smooth your path, and 5 ways it will trip you up.

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10 Job Search Tools For Recent Grads

10 Job Search Tools For Recent Grads

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More and more companies are using social media to find and vet job candidates, and more and more often, social media is giving these companies reasons to not hire a candidate.

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder found that two in five companies are using social networking sites to research job candidates, up 37% from last year. Of these companies, 43% have found information on social media that has made them decide to not hire a candidate. On the flip side, 19% of survey respondents said they have found information on candidates' social networking profiles that caused the hiring scales to tip in their favor.

The CareerBuilder study was conducted earlier this year among more than 2,100 hiring managers and human resources professionals. Based on their responses, here are five things you should do on social media when in the market for a new position and five things that you should not do -- or stop doing, pronto.


1. Convey a professional image (57% of survey respondents said they hired job candidates based at least in part on the professional image the candidates conveyed on social media).

2. Demonstrate that you are well-rounded and have a range of interests (50%).

3. Post information to your pages that supports your professional qualifications (49%).

4. Show creativity (46%).

5. Demonstrate good communications skills (43%).

[ Here are more tips on how to do social right: 5 Social Business Mistakes You're Making. ]


1. Post provocative or inappropriate photos or other content (50% of survey respondents said they had declined to hire job candidates at least in part because of questionable content posted on the candidates' social media profiles).

2. Include posts/photos that show drug or alcohol use (48%).

3. Bad-mouth previous employers (33%).

4. Make discriminatory comments of any kind (28%).

5. Get caught in a lie about your qualifications (24%).

CareerBuilder recommends that anyone involved in or thinking about a job search do a Web search on themselves to see what pops up -- on social media sites and otherwise. You can bet hiring managers are doing the same.

In what other ways can social media help or hurt job candidates? How is your company using social media to recruit new employees? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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