NEW YORK – Business – One of the more disturbing aspects of the rise of social media is the potential for people who don’t know better (hi, teenagers!) to post incriminating or otherwise unflattering content about themselves online, where it will live forever and come back to haunt them when a potential employer asks, for example, if they’re still pulling keg stands every weekend.
Most Admissions Officers Don’t Check Social Profiles
But there’s some good news, as at least one group of society’s gatekeepers — college admissions officers — isn’t paying as much attention to social media as was widely rumored and feared. That’s according to a survey of 422 admissions officer by test prep firm Kaplan, which found that less than a third (31%) of respondents said they have visited an applicant’s social media profile.
Unsurprisingly the general trend shows an increase from previous years (24% in 2011 and 26% in 2012). Meanwhile a similar proportion of admissions officers said they have Googled an applicant — 20% in 2011, 27% in 2012, and 29% in 2013. But it’s still comforting to know that online and social media background checks aren’t standard procedure.
Employers are Looking at Your Profile
Still, it’s probably not a good idea for teens to start plastering nude drug-taking selfies all over the Internet; for one thing, while admissions officers might not be looking at social profiles out of respect for privacy, potential employers have no such scruples.
In June I wrote about a survey from On Device Research which found that roughly one in ten (8%) U.S. job-seekers ages 16-24 have lost a job opportunity because of something on their social media profiles. And in April 2012 a survey of 2,300 hiring managers conducted by CareerBuilder found that 40% use social media to screen job candidates, and a third of this group (13% of the total) said they have rejected an applicant based on what they found on social media.
Among the group that had rejected applicants based on social media, 49% cited inappropriate comments or photos, 45% cited photos showing the candidate drinking or using drugs, and 35% said the profile showed poor communication skills. Meanwhile 33% said the candidate criticized a previous employer, 28% said they made discriminatory or offensive comments relating to race, religion or gender, and 22% said they’d lied about their qualifications.
Originally published on Media Post. Republished with permission © remains with author.