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With the massive explosion of social networking all happening within the past five years or so, experts are just coming to grips with the full magnitude of what has happened with the technology and the effects this is having on other industries. It is now getting to the point where a well written curriculum vitae and cover letter will not do; with social networks such as LinkedIn attracting more than 150 million users, it is becoming more of a requirement than an option to log yourself into social networking sites.

But how important are social networks whilst searching for that all-important job? The answer is – very important. In a recent study conducted by recruitment programme specialists that took samples from three hundred randomly selected employers, the survey scrutinised just how employers used social networking to evaluate their candidates.

Interestingly 91% of the employers that took part in the survey used social media to screen their prospective employees and 47% of these did so only minutes after receiving an application. This means when applying for jobs, it is vitally important to have your social networking site in tip-top condition. It was found that out of that those that did screen via social networks, 76% used Facebook, 53% used Twitter and 48% used LinkedIn. Interestingly 27% would view their candidates pages after an initial conversation, 15% after a detailed conversation and imperatively for those within the next bracket; 4% of employers viewed their candidates networking page just before making an offer. If you’re in that small 4%, you could find that your Facebook page could influence one of the most important decisions in your career.

It was found that after viewing a person’s social networking page, 61% of employers actually rejected candidates. That is a massive statistic and one that should be taken seriously. Luckily, we also have the information on hand as to discover why so many people were rejected by prospective employers.

Amazingly it was found that a staggering 13% of employers say that candidates had been caught out by their social networking sites over the qualifications, which they were reputed to have had. Although one should never lie on any curriculum vitae or during any interview, it is another thing altogether to be found out through your facebook or twitter page!

In second place were a variety of reasons which all scored around 11% but the most significant of these is also perhaps the most avoidable; that of inappropriate photographs. Although we all like to have fun during the weekend the pictures we often find ourselves with the next morning are less than glamorous. That’s why it is a very good idea to have your photographs set to a private setting or shared with only a few select members of your friends.

Another couple of segments which scored around the 11% mark was the use of inappropriate comments and poor communication. Although quite a few people enjoy using slang and ‘text speech’ in their writing, to an employer, it doesn’t really show the best side of a personality. Every business works on communication and any proof of poor communication before the interview stage is a bad sign for any prospective employer. Another element that puts employers off of people is any negative feedback about their previous employers. Although your ex-boss may have not been the nicest of individuals, publicly slamming him on facebook is never a good idea.

There is an upside to all this however; people who use their social pages wisely can actually find themselves with a greater chance of being employed. 68% of prospective employers have stated that viewing someone’s social networking page has actually helped them make the decision in hiring an applicant.

Overall a massive 36% said they hired an applicant because they found that they used their social networking pages creatively and that this showed them to be intelligent and outgoing people. The biggest percentage out of the positives however is that 39% of employers hired because they found the person to be of a good personality and within any employee, a good personality is key to the stability of not only their career, but also for the business as a whole.

For full information on the statistics gathered, it is highly recommended that you watch this video produced by CIPHR.

Social Networking Pages Impact Hires

By Noel Cocca

CEO/Founder RecruitingDaily and avid skier, coach and avid father of two trying to keep up with my altruistic wife. Producing at the sweet spot talent acquisition to create great content for the living breathing human beings in recruiting and hiring. I try to ease the biggest to smallest problems from start-ups to enterprise. Founder of RecruitingDaily and our merry band of rabble-rousers.