It is very common for a company looking to hire someone to call his or her references for more information. There is a new reference many people might not consider but companies are taking full advantage of this source now. That reference is social media. In 2012, CareerBuilder estimated 37% of companies used social media to screen applicants. However, a more recent survey by MediaBistro reported significantly higher percentages, which perhaps indicates a rapid trend among hiring managers.
Two social media research firms, Reppler and Lab42, conducted a survey of 300 hiring professionals across various industries. The results of their study as reported in The Undercover Recruiter found employers are most likely to decline an interview or hiring for the following reasons:
- inappropriate photos or comments on social media
- content about drinking or illegal drug
- negative comments about another person or employer
- poor communication skills; and
- lying about qualifications
Employers are most likely to hire or interview a candidate for these reasons:
- overall positive social media presence with professionalism
- signs of creativity
- solid communication skills; or
- good references posted by others
While they say “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” the initial social media presence has a large impact. Employers are already looking at profiles before graduation, especially if they are on sites such as LinkedIn. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, a profile with a photo is 11 times more likely to be viewed than one without a photo.
Most school career counselors now stress the importance of maintaining a clean social media profile. However, educational institutions can also help students’ job searches by providing professional portrait opportunities at school.
University Photo, a sister-company of GradImages, specializes in headshot photography at colleges and universities. University Photo and GradImages work alongside each other, and even share talent and resources when available. Their team of dedicated professionals is second-to-none, and the service they provide is outstanding. Click here for information about headshot photos from University Photo.