Twenty-Eight Per cent of Employers Use Social Networking Sites to Research Job Candidates, Survey Finds

    Career Expert Provides DOs and DON'Ts for Job Seekers on Social Networking

    TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ -- As online social networking continues to grow
in popularity across Canada, employers are utilizing these sites to screen
potential employees.  Twenty-eight per cent of employers reported in a recent
CareerBuilder Canada survey that they use social networking sites to research
job candidates. Three per cent plan to start in the future.  More than 400
hiring managers participated in the survey, which was completed in June 2009.

    Of those who conduct online searches/background checks of job candidates,
52 per cent use Facebook, 39 per cent use LinkedIn and 23 per cent use
MySpace.  One-quarter (25 per cent) search blogs, while 11 per cent follow
candidates on Twitter.

    Why Employers Disregarded Candidates After Screening Online
    Job seekers are advised to be careful of the information they post online
and how they communicate directly with employers.  Twenty-six per cent of
employers who use social networking sites to research job candidates reported
they have found content on social networking sites that caused them not to
hire the candidate.  The top examples cited include:
    --  Candidate posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or
        information - 55 per cent
    --  Candidate shared confidential information from previous employer - 50
        per cent
    --  Candidate made discriminatory comments - 38 per cent
    --  Candidate posted content about them drinking or using drugs - 36 per
    --  Candidate lied about qualifications - 26 per cent
    --  Candidate bad-mouthed their previous employer, co-workers or clients -
        24 per cent

    --  Candidate showed poor communication skills - 24 per cent

    One-in-five employers (21 per cent) have disregarded a candidate because
the candidate sent a message using an emoticon such as a smiley face, while 24
per cent dismissed a candidate for using text language such as GR8 (great) in
an email or job application.

    Why Employers Hired Candidates After Screening Online
    Job seekers are also encouraged to leverage social media to highlight
their professional skills and experience.  Fourteen per cent of employers who
use social networking sites to research job candidates reported they have
found content on social networking sites that caused them to hire the
candidate.  The top examples include:
    --  Profile supported candidate's professional qualifications - 78 per
    --  Candidate received awards and accolades - 70 per cent
    --  Candidate showed solid communication skills - 52 per cent
    --  Profile provided a good feel for the candidate's personality and fit
        within the organization - 52 per cent
    --  Profile conveyed a professional image - 48 per cent
    --  Candidate was creative - 48 per cent

    --  Other people posted good references about the candidate - 41 per cent

    "Social networking is a great way to make connections with potential job
opportunities and promote your personal brand across the Internet," said
Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.  "Make
sure you are using this resource to your advantage by conveying a professional
image and underscoring your qualifications."

    Haefner recommends the following DOs and DON'Ts to keep a positive image

    1. DO clean up digital dirt BEFORE you begin your job search.  Remove any
       photos, content and links that can work against you in an employer's
    2. DO consider creating your own professional group on sites like Facebook
       or to establish relationships with thought leaders,
       recruiters and potential referrals.
    3. DO keep gripes offline.  Keep the content focused on the positive,
       whether that relates to professional or personal information.  Makes
       sure to highlight specific accomplishments inside and outside of work.
    4. DON'T forget others can see your friends, so be selective about who you
       accept as friends.  Monitor comments made by others.  Consider using
       "block comments" feature or setting your profile to "private" so only
       designated friends can view it.

    5. DON'T mention your job search if you're still employed.

    Survey Methodology
    This survey was conducted online within Canada by Harris Interactive  on
behalf of CareerBuilder between May 22 and June 10, 2009 among 419 hiring
managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not
self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non-
government) ages 18 and over. With a pure probability sample of 419 one could
say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling
error of +/- 4.79 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples
is higher and varies.

    CareerBuilder is a leading job site in Canada. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc.
(NYSE:   GCI), the Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:   MNI) and
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:   MSFT), powers the career centers for
more than 175 Canadian partners that reach national, local, industry and niche
audiences. These include leading portals such as AOL Canada and
Job seekers visit every month to search for opportunities by
industry, location, company and job type, sign up for automatic e-mail job
alerts, and get advice on job hunting and career management. For more
information about products and services, visit

    Media Contact:
    Michael Erwin


For further information:

For further information: Michael Erwin of,
+1-773-527-3637,, Web Site:

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