Commentary

Social Media Has Cost One in Ten Young Adults a Job

Social media norms are still evolving, and eventually people will probably wise up about what they put on their social media profiles. In the meantime, however, they are posting some pretty ill-advised content -- ranging from awkward to embarrassing to incriminating to indictable -- and that turns out to have consequences. Like, not getting jobs they applied for.

 

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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, according to a new survey by On Device Research, which polled 6,000 mobile users ages 16-34 around the world via the mobile Internet, and also asked 17,657 people in the same age bracket about social media in particular. The survey also found that 5% of U.S. job-seekers ages 25-34 said they had lost a job opportunity because of social media, suggesting that teens and younger adults might be more likely to engage in self-damaging online behaviors (shocking, I know).

 

If it’s any consolation -- I don’t see why it would be -- teens and young adults in other countries were more likely to report not getting a job because of their social media profiles, including 16% of Chinese mobile users ages 16-24, 10% of Indians, and 9% of Brits. The numbers were lower across the board for people ages 25-34 in all these countries.

 

Despite this, the majority of teens and young adults appear unworried about social media’s potential professional impact: in the U.S., 70% of those surveyed said they weren’t concerned about social media harming their future career prospects, and 71% of Brits said the same.

 

Back in April of last year 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.

2 comments about "Social Media Has Cost One in Ten Young Adults a Job ".
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  1. Walter Sabo from SABO media, June 6, 2013 at 8:23 p.m.

    This will end soon. As HR people are retiring and new ones who are social network aware get promoted tolerance increases. Remember that baby-boomers were afraid that protesting the viet nam war and FBI files would kill their careers...now people who blew up buildings are college professors.

  2. Erik Sass from none, June 6, 2013 at 11:29 p.m.

    I agree, because of changing norms among both employers and applicants. As far as applicants, over time (and probably sooner rather than later) people will become more guarded in what they share on social media.

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