6 Social Media Mistakes That May Cost You The Job

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.
By Molly Triffin

Relationship expert Blaire Allison was ecstatic when she was recruited to co-host a dating show for a Florida radio station and answer callers’ questions as “The Love Guru.” She’d aced the first round of interviews, and even taped a trial segment, which the producers loved. That’s why what happened next came as such a surprise.

Allison was in the editing room, mapping out the show, when her co-host was suddenly called away for a meeting. Upon his return, he informed her that the job offer was being rescinded. When Allison pressed him for more information, he revealed that her social media footprint was the source of the contention.

Allison ran an event planning business on the side, specializing in playful, semi-racy girls’ nights out for birthdays and bachelorette parties. When the radio station’s conservative director stumbled across some PG-13 event photos she’d posted online, he decided hiring her wasn’t worth the risk of losing advertisers.

“I was upset. I really wanted that job,” Allison says. “I was also surprised because I thought the pictures were just innocent fun. There was no nudity or obscenity.”

Think this disappointing experience couldn’t happen to you?

Well, as it turns out, it’s actually quite common — especially in media and tech companies, where the Internet is an integral part of office culture. In fact, in a recent Jobvite survey, 55% of recruiters admitted to reconsidering candidates based on their social media profiles.

“A lot of people put things out there without realizing the ramifications,” says David Blacker, a Tampa-based, 20-year-veteran headhunter and founder of Venerate Media Group, a company that provides social media and public relations services. “The internet is a living, breathing entity that goes on indefinitely, and assessing a candidate’s social media presence is one of the top things recruiters do.”

To help you from getting burned by an internet blunder, we’ve rounded up six social media behaviors that could alienate a recruiter during your job search. Learn why they send the wrong message and what you can do instead to come out looking supremely hirable.

Related: Job Hunting In 2015? A Talent Recruiter Shares Secrets For Standing Out

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