Ready for another “Top 10” list? Er, “Top 4” list this time. This one published in Inc magazine’s July/August edition based on a CareerBuilder/Harris Interactive poll. This survey reports that 34 percent of employers have rejected a job applicant because of their activity on social media.
The poll cites these top four reasons specifically. Job seekers
- Posted inappropriate photos or information
- Showed evidence of drinking or drug use
- Communicated poorly
- Badmouthed their previous employer
From my perspective, ALL these reasons, except the second, have to do with poor communication. Having the judgment to know what is and is not appropriate to post speaks volumes about someone’s ability to communicate—to sort the significant from the trivial, to tailor a message to the audience, to select the right medium for the message.
Likewise, reason number four (badmouthing a previous employer or boss) also communicates lack of judgment. If someone does not have the good sense to control the tongue in open forums, what can a future employer expect regarding confidentiality in sensitive client issues or supplier fallouts?
Reason number three is straightforward. Run-on sentences, punctuation errors, misspellings, danglers—these all represent a lack of knowledge or inattention to detail. Neither serves a candidate’s purpose well.
In addition to the four reasons mentioned above, here are other things that communicate strong messages from social media activity:
- Attitude: Are the posts mostly positive and upbeat or sarcastic and whiny?
- Tone: Are the posts mostly helpful or punitive? Are most of the comments insightful, affirming, or confrontational?
- Engagement: Do the posts show interactivity among a wide network of friends and colleagues? Or, is all the activity one-directional?
- Focus: Do the posts ever mention others, call other people by name, and offer kudos to colleagues? Or do all comments focus on the writer?
Are you surprised that one-third of employers have rejected job candidates after checking their social media footprints? What communication habits do YOU notice most frequently from someone’s social media posts?
Dianna Booher, an expert in executive communications, is the author of 46 books. Her work has been translated into 23 languages. Her latest books include Creating Personal Presence: Look, Talk, Think, and Act Like a Leader and Communicate with Confidence, Revised and Expanded Edition. As CEO of Booher Consultants and as a high-caliber keynote speaker, Dianna and her staff travel worldwide to deliver focused speeches and training to address specific communication challenges and increase effectiveness in writing skills, presentation skills, interpersonal communication, and organizational communication. www.booher.com 1-800-342-6621