Your social media posts can be more detrimental to your job prospects than you may realize. A study by scientists at Penn State University, published in the International Journal of Selection and Assessment, found that negative content can lower perceptions of employment suitability. Self-absorption, extreme opinions, and substance abuse were found to be most harmful.
To evaluate how employment prospects are affected, the researchers recruited 436 hiring managers from different industries. While an overwhelming number (61 percent) were from the hospitality industry and the rest from various other industries. The team gave the managers hypothetical job candidates who performed well in interviews and were eager to join. The only negative was that they were prone to job-hopping.
The participants had to rate employment suitability on the basis of the candidate’s Facebook profiles. They had to assess the candidate’s organization-fit with an overall evaluation. These hypothetical profiles were generated to include various traits. Some contained potentially negative content, such as opinionatedness, self-absorption, as well as alcohol and drug use. The team found that such negative content reduced a candidate’s chances of getting hired. All three factors were found to be undesirable.