From making connections, to finding company information, or spotting new job openings before they’re advertised, there’s no doubt that social media now plays an integral role in the job search.

But even if you aren’t actively using it to further your career, it could still indirectly help or hinder your chances of being hired.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 43% of hiring managers now use social media to screen potential candidates. Some of the things they look for include the candidate’s professional image, their qualifications, and, unfortunately, even reasons not to hire them.

A few of the reasons employers gave for pulling a candidate out of the running include

  1. 1Inappropriate images
  2. 2Poor communication skills
  3. 3Discriminatory comments
  4. 4Negative information
  5. 5Comments about a previous employer
Rich Grant

According to Rich Grant

Author of the blog Rich Career

“Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be really useful, or they can be the ‘kiss of death’,” notes career counsellor Rich Grant.

“It's important for job seekers to set appropriate expectations for what social media can do and can't do for them in a job search,” he says.

Grant explains that while sites like LinkedIn or Twitter can be hugely beneficial to job seekers who want to build up their professional network, it’s also important to set realistic expectations and avoid pushing an agenda.

“It's important for job seekers to build rapport without rushing it,” he notes.

“Let relationships build organically; don't try to force them. One way to get to know people on social media is by participating in discussions on LinkedIn groups or in Twitter chats.”

When it comes to projecting a positive and professional image online, Grant suggests simply conducting yourself as you would in a face-to-face setting. Before you comment or post online, ask yourself if you would say or share the same thing in person.

“Don't be mean, over-dramatic, pompous, or negative,” he says. “And respect other people's individuality.”