Is Social Media Preventing You From Landing That Job

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Could this be you? Over the weekend, one of your friends on Facebook posted a picture of the two of you at your Fourth of July party. The posts included a comment that you thought was funny. Of course, one good comment requires another good comment, so you respond with a risqué comment that only the two of you will understand. No big deal right? I’m not so sure.

Social media can play a very big part in determining if you get a job or not. The results of Invite’s seventh annual Social Recruiting Survey showed that “93% of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision.”   Of these recruiters, 55% have reconsidered the candidate’s application based upon their social profile. And of those applicants who were being reconsidered, 61% were being reconsidered for negative reasons.

Eight different types of “comment” categories were studied. Results from six of the categories were listed as negative reasons for reconsidering a candidate and only one was listed as a positive reason for reconsidering them. Based upon the results of the surveys, 83% of the respondents said they have negatively reconsidered a candidate based upon references to illegal drugs, 70% for sexual posts, 66% for spelling or grammar, 63% for profanity, 51% for reference to guns, and 44% for references to alcohol. The only category that was a positive-type comment pertained to volunteering or donations to charity.

So even if your comments are in jest between friends, you really should consider how an employer might perceive your comments on social media. The following are three suggestions you should consider with regard to your profile and postings on social media.

  • Re-think your comment before submitting any posts
  • Review your profiles to make sure they are positive and up to date
  • Review your previous posts, and edit or delete anything that can be construed as being inappropriate

These are three things to think about as it pertains to your social media profile and your job search. You have worked hard to put together an outstanding resume and in writing a quality cover letter; don’t blow it by not paying attention of your social media presence. Good luck in your job search!


Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University. He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach. He is also an author of 9 books. Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at or his new book Execute for Success at


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Sonoma State University




3 thoughts on “Is Social Media Preventing You From Landing That Job

  1. Very interesting to see the percentages of the surveys done, I figured that grammar would be a very high percentage. The three tips are very good. I have always said think before you speak, it also goes with your social media.

  2. I enjoyed how you narrowed subject of your article to social media. The percentages make it very understandable and relatable to me as a reader. Also, the three tips that you list are perfect and helpful looking at it from a college student perspective considering im going to be getting a job within the next 2 years.

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