51% of Employers Pass on Applicants Due to Social Media: How Social Media Can Hurt Or Help Your Career.

How to Use Social Media to NOT Land a Job.

According to a New CareerBuilder Survey, the number of Employers passing on applicants due to Social Media Posts continues to rise. This year 51% of employers said they have found content that caused them to not hire a candidate, up from 43% last year and 34% in 2012. An additional 12% don’t research candidates on social media, but plan to start.

What are they finding that’s eliminating candidates from consideration?

The most common social media reasons to exclude a job candidate:

  • Posting provocative or inappropriate photographs or information (46%)
  • Posting information about them drinking or using drugs (41%)
  • Bad-mouthing previous company or fellow employee (36%)

The most common social media reasons to hire a candidate:

  • Feel for candidate’s personality – see good fit with company culture (46%)
  • Background information supported professional qualifications for job (45%)
  • Site conveyed a professional image (43)

How to Use Social Media to Land a Job.

The Society for Human Resource Management survey reports that 77% of organizations use social networks to recruit, 69% use social networks to target and recruit candidates with specific skill sets and 57% use social networks to make it easy for potential candidates to contact their organization about employment. Career coach Miriam Salpeter suggests using the strategies below to land a job via social media.

Take advantage of employer’s reaching out to you in social media:

  1. Use every network that makes sense for you.
  2. Be active on networks that take advantage of your best skills.
  3. Identify your target audience, “like” and engage with them.
  4. Visit, “like” or “follow” the companies that interest you.
  5. Optimize profiles with keywords employers use to search for someone like you.

How to Use Personal Branding to Land a Job

“Personal branding” is a term first used by Tom Peters in a 1997 article. Your personal brand refers to how others perceive you, how they consider your knowledge and skills and the things that make you unique and different. Today the prevalence of social media makes personal branding more important than ever. With so many employers searching social profiles, you should spend some time figuring out your personal brand. Then let your personal branding strategy drive your social profiles and your social content. Brand relationship trainer Maria Elena Duron suggests starting to create your personal brand by answering the questions below.

Find your unique promise of value by considering these questions:

  1. What does my personal brand promise to my clients and customers?
  2. How will I consistently deliver that promise?
  3. How will I make people remember my promise?
  4. How can I ensure my brand promise is unique and memorable?

I am currently reading Sally Hogshead’s new book How The World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through The Science of Fascination. Sally is a former advertising copywriter who is now applying what she learned in branding products and services to branding people. Her system comes with an online assessment and ways to create an anthem of your highest distinct value expressed in 49 personality archetypes.

I discovered my personality archetype is Avant-Garde which lead to my anthem of “Delivering Enterprising Vision With Resourceful Action.” For the Spring I am incorporating these insights and resources into my classes at Johns Hopkins University. I have developed a graduate course 663.610 Personal Branding & Writing for the Web, plus added personal branding to my 661.454 Blogging & Digital Copywriting course.

Have you thought about how your social media activity affects your career? How can you use social media to find career opportunities? Have you followed a personal branding exercise and integrated it across all your social media accounts and activity?

Employee Social Media Misuse Is Up. Should We Go On A Social Media Lockdown?

A new global workplace study has found that more than 70% of employers report having to take disciplinary action against employees for social media misuse – up from 35% in 2012. Wow. That is a lot. Should we just shut social media down and block it from our employees? What kinds of misuse are happening and does this mean we need to clampdown on employee social media efforts?

What kinds of employee social media misuse?

  1. Misuse of confidential information (80%)
  2. Misrepresenting the views of the business (71%)
  3. Inappropriate non-business use (67%)
  4. Disparaging remarks about the business or employees (64%)
  5. Harassment (64%)

What is interesting is that while employee social media misuse is up, overall workplace misconduct is downOnly 41% of employees observed misconduct in 2013, down from 55% in 2007. Why? Researchers found that 81% of companies are proving ethics training and it seems to be working. Yet other research has found that only 25% of companies offer social media training to their employees. 

I believe misuse is up because employee social media use is up and many have not followed suit with employee social media guideline and training. Even the courts and law are playing catchup.

For example, a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, has determined that it is legal to vent about your employer on a personal social media account if you’re speaking on behalf of a group of employees and your intent is to improve the conditions of your job. This ruling was in response to employer social media policies that were seen as too restrictive.

Research has found that 31% of companies still have no social media policy in placeDo you have a social media policy? Does it need to be updated? One place to start is to look at what others have put together. Here are over 100 Social Media Employee Policy Examples thanks to Social Media Today.

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association also has resources to help you understand the responsibilities brand  have in complying with the FTC Guidelines in their Social Media Marketing Disclosure Guide.

When it comes to training, companies like Unisys, Sprint and HP are creating social media training programs to avoid social media crises, but also show employees how using social media can be a valuable business tool to increase performance and productivity.

At the end of day it comes down to employee trust. Jeff Bezos’ employee Pay To Quit program for Amazon.com makes a lot of sense.

6% of companies block access to social media sites in their workplaces. Should you lockdown social media? Or should we provide our employees with the proper guidance and training to use social media properly?