PSA to Job Seekers: Social Media Matters

Employers Check Social Media

Social media isn’t going away. In fact, its reach grows everyday.  That reach now extends to job seekers. Jobvite conducted a survey about how social media is used by recruiters and employers and the results are fascinating.

They found that:

92% of companies use social media for recruiting candidates, and of those, 73% found a new hire through a social network. 89% of those companies found their hire through LinkedIn, while 26% found their hire through Facebook and 15% used Twitter.

Like it or not, it doesn’t matter if you directly share your social media profiles with potential employers or recruiters – 86% of them review a job seeker's social media profiles regardless of whether or not the applicant gives them their usernames or permission to view their profiles. That said, it can definitely be in your best interest to provide your profile information to potential employers. Since you know they look, better to make sure they are actually looking at your profiles and not those of your “Internet doppelgänger” – someone else online with the same name that might not have such a stellar and respectable profile.

We know they look. But what do they want to see, what don’t they want to see, and what should you post with caution?

Remember this mantra: WHEN IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT! Recognize that what you share and how you share it can have very real consequences that can hurt you and your future goals.

Let’s start with the easy one:

What do they want to see?

  • They want to see that you have an online presence.
  • 80% like to see that you are connecting and following professional organizations.
  • 66% like to see that you volunteer or are involved in charity work of some sort.

What don’t they like to see?

  • 47% don’t want to see pictures of alcohol consumption (it doesn’t matter if you’re over 21, but that number increases if you’re under 21).
  • 78% don’t want to see any references to drug use.
  • 66% don’t want to see any pictures, videos, or posts that are sexual in nature.
  • 61% don’t like to see profanity.
  • 54% are unhappy to see your posts and tweets with spelling and grammar errors.

Be cautious about:

  • Political posts – 18% who see them react negatively.
  • Overly religious posts – 26% who see them react negatively, no matter what religion.

It’s hard to know which of your posts might offend, because when you posted them you obviously thought they were OK to post. Let The Social U help you figure out which posts might cause you trouble with your future employer. Go to to get your Social GPA™ and let us identify for you which posts you should be concerned about.


Julie Fisher, M.Ed., is the founder of The Social U and consults with schools, organizations and individuals through the MJ Fisher Group.  


, @the_social_u