Did you ever say something at a party, and then wish that you hadn’t said it? Social media can be a lot like that. You may have casually made a biting joke or posted a questionable picture on Facebook or Instagram. And later – sometimes years later, that joke or picture could come back to haunt you – when you are looking for a job, or even when you are applying to an MBA program.
Recent studies confirm that employers are, indeed, checking your social media profile before they make a decision to hire you. Earlier this week, writer David Schepp highlighted interesting results of a recent survey of 2,300 hiring managers conducted by CareerBuilder.
The study showed that 56% of hiring managers do check LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. It’s safe to forecast that this number will continue to increase. More significantly, the study showed that 1 in 3 employers reject applicants based on Facebook posts.
Employers’ Red Flags?
- Candidate’s provocative/inappropriate photos/comments — 49 percent
- Candidate drinking or using drugs — 45 percent
- Candidate had “poor communication skills” — 35 percent
- Candidate bad-mouthed a previous employer — 33 percent
- Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion — 28 percent
- Candidate lied about qualifications — 22 percent
Employers Gave the Green Light To These Online Behaviors:
- Good feel for candidate’s personality — 58 percent
- Conveyed a professional image — 55 percent
- Background info supported professional qualifications — 54 percent
- Well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests — 51 percent
- Great communication skills — 49 percent
- Creativity — 44 percent
- Other people posted great references about the candidate — 34 percent
So, it’s clear. Smart hiring managers will be looking for your social media background to ensure that you’re not going to expose them to risk if they hire you.
How does this apply to your MBA applications, though? MBA Programs care – a lot – about what hiring managers care about. If there’s something in your social media history that will prevent you from being hired, then it might prevent you from getting admitted to the MBA program of your choice. Why? If you are not employable post-MBA – for any reason, you’re going to hurt the placement statistics of the program. Additionally, you might be a risky “brand ambassador” for the MBA program you attend.
Like hiring managers, MBA Admissions Committees are also looking at your social media presence. It will certainly give a committee additional insights into who you are as a candidate, what you’ll be like as a student, and how you’ll behave as an alum.