An increasing number of U.S. employers say they are finding photos or statements online that ruin an applicant's chance at getting a job, a survey indicated.
In a Feb. 11-to-March 6 survey of 2,100 hiring managers, Harris Interactive, which conducted the survey on behalf of CareerBuilder, found that 43 percent or respondents who used social websites in researching a candidate indicated they had found content online that had ended the person's chances of being hired.
In a survey a year earlier, the 34 percent of hiring managers who used social websites to research candidates indicated they had found negative content online that stopped them from hiring someone.
In addition, a larger percentage of respondents this year indicated they used social websites to do research on job candidates than the previous year -- 39 percent to 37 percent.
What was so revealing on social sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, that might derail a job applicant's chances of landing a job?
Fifty percent of hiring managers who browsed social websites indicated they found inappropriate photos. That was followed by evidence of drug use or drinking (48 percent), negative comments about former employers (33 percent) and the discovery that the candidate had poor communication skills (30 percent).
Those discoveries were followed by indications of racism or another form of discrimination and evidence the candidate had lied about job qualifications.
One the flip side, 19 percent of hiring managers indicated they had found evidence online that helped a candidate's chances of landing a job.
Job applicants were helped by evidence of their professional image, a better understanding of their personality and even better qualifications than the hiring managers had believed.
There was also evidence online that indicted candidates were creative or generated favorable comments from others about themselves.
Harris Interactive said the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.