Social media continues to play a larger role in our daily lives. More and more we are using social media to stay connected with family and friends, to keep up with and share our views on news and politics, to find jobs as well as (for employers) to post jobs and even to review candidates.

A recent survey showed that over 90% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social media profiles prior to not only hiring an individual but granting an interview in the first place. The survey also reported that over half have gone back to review social media sites when reconsidering a candidate and the majority of the follow-ups have had negative outcomes.

The numbers are fairly cut and dry with what is frowned upon by potential employers. The top three items of concern as ranked by hiring managers are as follows:

  1. Illegal Drug References
  2. Sexual Posts
  3. Using Profanity in Posts

Many other types of posts or items included raised eyebrows including alcohol abuse as well as guns / gun violence. Also not surprising was the use of poor grammar and spelling as a negative in the eyes of the majority of hiring managers.

Not to focus solely on the negatives of social media, here’s a list of three of the top things you should showcase on your social media outlets.

  1. Volunteering / Charitable Work
  2. Examples of your work (Online Portfolio)
  3. Mutual connections with employer

Of the group surveyed the top three social media platforms they focused most on during the hiring process were as follows:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter

The main thing to remember while going through the hiring process is to be smart about what you put out on your social media outlets. You do not always know the political, religious or other affiliations of a potential employer. While it’s ok to be yourself, remember there’s no sense in creating an image of yourself with your cover letter, resume or other job-specific items that will be completely undone by a click on your Facebook page!