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Social Media: A Double Edged Sword for Employment

The paper resume is quickly fading faster than feature phones and TiVo.

Today more than ever, social networking and the digital antics that provide for getting to know all the “right people” is supplanting the traditional steps to employment across myriad industries.

But just as LinkedIn, for example, can help a prospective job seeker find a dream position inside of a thriving company, those late night emotional tweets and inebriated Facebook pictures from last New Year’s Eve can quickly erase any hopes of social media leading to a new job.

Privacy? What’s That?

Going to a job interview still requires you to put your best face forward. Unfortunately, that’s a difficult thing to do when your face has already made a first impression on social media. And it wasn’t your best one.

All told, the lingering baggage born of social media has cost many, many otherwise highly qualified individuals a possible job.

Based on the findings of a 2012 annual technology market survey spearheaded by Eurocom Worldwide, one in five technology industry executives express that a candidate’s social media profile “has caused them not to hire that person.”

The 21st century human is learning that every action leaves an indelible digital trail,” says Mads Christensen, Network Director at Eurocom Worldwide. “In the years ahead many of us will be challenged by what we are making public in various social forums today. The fact that one in five applicants disqualify themselves from an interview because of content in the social media sphere is a warning to job seekers and a true indicator of the digital reality we now live in.

Although it isn’t a new suggestion by any means that one should consider carefully the images and content one shares through social media, this is our first concrete, scientific look at the catastrophic professional fallout from social media gone astray.

As difficult as it may be to comprehend, the annual Eurocom Worldwide study shows that 40% of respondents’ companies carefully review potential employees’ profiles on social media sites. And as the latest insight proves, all this “research” is helping fewer than it hurts.

The numbers do not lie,” independent business analyst and social media expert Mike Randazzo tells Daily Deal Media. “Social networks can definitely lead to employment opportunities. But they can also wreck those opportunities just as fast, if not faster.”

Regardless of how professional you think you may be and that your private life is still shielded from public view, that is no longer a smart or even logical way of looking at things,” Randazzo adds. “Social networking is the death of privacy. That’s why I always tell clients that the only way to protect yourself is to first consider every tweet or Facebook post like it’s about to become a headline in the New York Times. Do you really want everybody to read that post or see that picture? If you even hesitate to answer, don’t post it.”

Eurocom Worldwide

Michael Essany

Michael Essany is a veteran marketing executive, bestselling author, and mobile technology blogger who has served as Vice President of Indiana Grain Company since 2008. A former E! Entertainment Television host and producer, Essany resides with his wife and daughter just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Michael is Daily Deal Media contributor specializing in Social Media, eCommerce (and mCommerce) and Mobile Marketing/Advertising. Connect: @Michael_Essany
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