- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Young job-seekers aren’t fazed by the prospect of potential employers combing through their Facebook postings or Instagram photos, according to survey results released Wednesday.

Despite horror stories of applicants losing prized positions in the workforce because of what they posted on social media, more and more new entrants in the workforce say they are not concerned about their online history.

The survey, conducted by Red Bull’s skill assessment tool, Wingfinder, on about 1,300 recent and soon-to-be college graduates, found that most respondents don’t believe social media will negatively affect their employment opportunities. Some, in fact, believe it could help them.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they wouldn’t hide their social media accounts from potential employers, and 86 percent said they wouldn’t use a fake social media account. Some said that even party pictures could be beneficial: they could be used to promote events, drinks and clothing.

Twelve percent of respondents said “having a large following on social media” is a skill.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder this year, 70 percent of employers use social media to screen job candidates, and 54 percent have decided not to hire a candidate because of content found online. The chief reasons for deciding not to hire based on social media profiles included the candidate’s posts of inappropriate photos and information about the candidate drinking or using drugs.

But there is also data suggesting having a profile on social media can help. Forty-four percent of employers hired a candidate because of positive social media content, the CareerBuilder survey found, and 57 percent are less likely to call a candidate in for an interview if they can’t find the candidate’s online profile.

Employers benefit from access to candidates’ social media accounts, said Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London and Columbia University whose research helped develop the Wingfinder assessment.

“Social media provides a wealth of information for hiring managers,” Mr. Chamorro-Premuzic said. “Specific strengths, personality traits and intelligence can all be gleaned from our online data trails.”

“If job-seekers are openly sharing their social media profiles, they need to be cognizant of the message they are conveying to employers,” he added.

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