Can Having a Social Networking Site Affect Your Job Search?

October 11th, 2012

Can Having a Social Networking Site Affect Your Job Search?

The Internet today provides popular social networking sites that, if not carefully managed, can be used against you when searching for a job. As students start to search for entry-level jobs out of college, many should consider cleaning up their social networking sites so they are professional.  A recent study confirms that 70 percent of U.S. business managers say they decided not to hire a job candidate based upon something found out about them online (Vanderkam). Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter appear in high search results, which makes it easy for people to look at your site. Although there are privacy settings on these sites, employers can find ways around them if they know a friend of the person they are interested in hiring. Employers are increasingly using these common Internet sites as a means to quietly and informally investigate your background and discretely explore into your private life.

Many people do not realize the extent of damage that a simple post or picture can do. It may not seem that pictures of you at a party with alcohol is a big deal, until the photos are seen by a potential employer and it ruins your chances of getting a job. Finding a job in this economy is hard enough, therefore having things posted online that could be a potential negative factor in a job search is not worth it. Pictures or posts that make you look drunk, stupid, and unprofessional can be a leading reason why an employer does not offer you a job.

Having said this, I am going to give you some tips on how to clean up your social media sites and what you should and shouldn’t have on them.

  • Do not post photos, videos, or statuses that you feel could potentially shock an employer.
  • Do not write anything that you feel is embarrassing or too personal.
  • Censor your profile by removing pictures that could be seen as inappropriate or comments that contain rude language            or excessive abbreviations.
  • Be very selective on who you accept as friends and monitor what other people post about you.

These few tips should really get you thinking about what is professional and what is not. We all want our dream job and we don’t need something as stupid as one picture to ruin our chances. Social media sites can boost your chances of receiving a job if you portray a good responsible image for yourself. Employers have hired candidates after looking at their social media sites when they found many positive aspects. For instance if the employer found that their profile provided a good feel for the personality and fit, if the candidate was creative, showed solid communication skills, and supported professional qualifications. Therefore, we should use our social media sites as an advantage to our job search and not a drawback. If updated and regulated correctly, your social media profile could be the grounds of your employment.


“Internet Social Networking- How It Can Affect You.” Internet Social Networking- How It Can Affect You. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012.<>.

Nmatayoshi. “The Impact of Social Media on Job Application.” The Impact of Social Media on Job Application. WordPress Services at Eastern Washington University., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>.

“Social-networking Profiles Affect Job-searching Students.” MonsterCollege. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>.

Vanderkam, Laura. “How Social Media Can Affect Your Job Search –” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <>.


BY: Catherine M.


3 Responses to “Can Having a Social Networking Site Affect Your Job Search?”

  1. Kara Forbes on October 11, 2012 7:44 PM

    I have always heard that your social media can affect your work life for a long time. My mother is high up in the YMCA Hampton Roads area. She has had to fire people because of things they have posted on their Facebook’s or Twitter’s. Those tips are great, and I hope people actually take them to heart because it puts peoples jobs at jeopardy. The reason my mother has fired people for this in the past is because they bad mouth the association, so make sure you don’t do that either.

  2. Meghan Roan on October 11, 2012 8:12 PM

    Catherine, this is a great post. A lot of people do not realize this fact and how much it can change their life after college. The tips you gave are as very helpful. I feel like people should not only know this information before they start to look for jobs but also before they create a social media site.If people knew this sort of information they could skip a step in cleaning up their sites because they would already be clean. The information you have stated here is very helpful and informational. Great job.

  3. Colleen Cofer on October 12, 2012 11:18 AM

    I like this post a lot! I was just thinking the other day about what pictures of mine might be taken the wrong way. Even if you know that a picture is innocent, it still could be looked at in the wrong way by an employer. I try to monitor what I post on my profile because I know that I am friends with my grandparents, however, I cannot help what others post so I need to be on top of it when it comes to deleting inappropriate comments, pictures, etc. I think another tip would be to allow another adult go through your facebook and see what they think. Like a trusted professor or advisor. They would be able to look at it as a potential employer better than you can.

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