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UK – Hays finds job hunters deem social media insignificant

14 September 2012

One third of job hunters don’t think employers will look at their social media profiles, despite the growing use of social media in recruitment, according to a new survey by recruiter Hays.

In a survey of over 770 people, more than a third (36%) did not think an employer would look at their profiles, and therefore made no changes to their social media habits when looking for a new job.

Over half (55%) of respondents said they change their privacy settings when job searching, eager to make sure that personal information does not influence their chances of success in finding a new job.  Going one step further, one in ten admitted editing content and untagging photos of themselves posted online when looking for a job.

“While the majority of people are taking sensible steps to protect their privacy online when looking for a job, it’s worrying to see that so many people don’t recognise the potential pitfalls associated with social media use. Used well social media can be a valuable tool for job hunters, but employers are looking for someone who stands out for the right reasons,” said Mark Sheldon, Regional Managing Director at Hays.

“With more employers now using social media and online channels for recruitment, the importance of managing your online footprint is not going to diminish. While no employer should make a hiring decision based entirely on what they see online, it’s now extremely easy for an employer to find out an incredible amount of personal detail about you with just a quick search,” he warned.   

At the same time, the professional network site LinkedIn reported that its popularity has grown rapidly among small business professionals with the UK coming in second place worldwide – over one million users belonging to this category are now signed up with LinkedIn.  

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