Social networking sites are more likely to hurt job seekers chances of finding employment than they are to help them land a job.
People ages 35 and older are the most rapidly growing age group to join Facebook, and about 51 percent of American adults with online access use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites – up from 25 percent during 2007, according to Forrester Research.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger said that job seekers can build a network of industry professionals, fellow alumni and former colleagues to aid in discovering available jobs, and to establish relationships with contacts or hiring managers.
But – social networking sites are rife with potential for gaffes and faux pas.
Employers and recruiters also use these sites. Ninety-five percent of companies use LinkedIn, and many also use Facebook and Twitter.
Therein lies the necessity for caution.
Based on social networking site content, a job candidate is twice as likely to be eliminated rather than hired, said human resource professionals surveyed by Careerbuilder.com.
Thirty-five percent of respondents said they stopped considering an applicant because of a social networking blunder. Reasons ranged from candidates’ having poor communication skills to inappropriate/provocative photographs or information.
And only 18 percent of human resource professionals surveyed offered a position to a prospective employee due to a candidate’s display of professionalism on a social networking site.