Does Personal Branding Hurt Your Chances At Getting the Job?

Does Personal Branding Hurt Your Chances At Getting the Job?

If you think those wild photos of you and your friends from the last Cinco de Mayo aren’t a big deal, you’d better think again: They could cost you a job. A significant percentage of job seekers are passed over because of inappropriate posts on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, according to a recent survey. A new study shows that 37% of recruiters screen applicants via social networks.

If you choose to leave social mediaA content public, filter out anything that can tarnish your professional reputation, and post communications, links and photos that portray you in the best possible light. A whopping 69% of would be employers have rejected candidates because of what was found on their social networking site. Some reasons being: inappropriate photos or comments, content about drinking or drug use, postings of negative comments on or about previous employers, demonstrated poor communication skills, made discriminatory comments, or lied about qualifications. At which phase of the hiring process do employers look to social networking to screen potential employees? 47% take a peek after receiving an application and 4% do so right before extending an offer.

Even if you have all your privacy settings set up so that “only friends” can read your page, you still run great risk of hurting your reputation in the company if you have coworkers as friends on Facebook.A You may have gone to great measures to assure that you only have the “right” coworkers as friends. Because of that, you might feel safe to be a bit freer with what you say.A  However, one day, a coworker posts something on his or her page and you make an off the cuff, rather unprofessional comment on the post. A The problem is, you don’t know who, from the company, that person is friends with and can read your comment.A A  Leaving comments on coworkers’ Facebook pages must be done responsibly in order to avoid having any reasonable person start questioning your overall level of professionalism. A  A A [pullquote align=”right”]37% of recruiters screen applicants via social networks[/pullquote]

It is up to you how you use your social networking sites but make sure you use it responsibly. If you have coworkers as friends, your best bet is to either eliminate them and completely separate your business and personal life or to use social networking sites responsibly.A  You do not have to promote your job or the company, but just being level headed, witty, and lighthearted will be the key to maintaining a professional image on these kinds of sites.A Remember that all things that were once private are now public.


Dawn Krovicka