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API Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Rishi Bhargava, John Basso, Steven Lamb

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U.S. College Graduates Who Post Inappropriate Photos Online Are 84 Percent Less Likely to Get Job Interviews

College graduates in the U.S. who display drunken photos on their social media profiles reduce their chances of securing an interview by 84 percent, AVG Technologies’ latest Digital Diaries study reveals. The study of human resources professionals in the states, also found that more than 90 percent of them search for unprotected social media profiles in order to assess a candidate’s suitability.

Digital Baggage, the sixth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study, features responses from 230 human resources professionals in the U.S. and the UK, and 4,400 18-25 year olds in 11 countries to AVG’s questions on managing social network profiles.

Alarmingly, the research also found that the majority of 18-25 year olds had never reviewed their online profiles, which could potentially impact their career prospects. Recruiters can verify that young adults are not managing their profiles effectively, with nearly half of them concluding that this age group is unaware of the need to act responsibly online.

However, more than two-thirds of human resources professionals had been positively influenced by the online presence of a job applicant. Nearly three-quarters of them state they rely on LinkedIn to conduct their online searches. Within a competitive job market, there are major advantages for savvy-candidates to differentiate themselves by proactively managing, and contributing to their online profile.

Tony Anscombe, AVG Technologies commented: “AVG’s latest research shows that the Internet and social networks in particular, have changed the way that human resources professionals approach the recruitment process. Nowadays, online content posted about, or by a candidate, has become the modern day equivalent of a first interview. AVG’s research emphasises that our digital brand is potentially just as important as our resume. AVG encourages consumers to take control of their online privacy --- more than ever, young adults need to proactively manage their online brand to avoid missing out on career opportunities.”

Other key findings pertaining to the U.S. include:

  • More than 90 percent of human resources managers also consider posting nude photos online a reason to not interview candidates. Other reasons include: evidence of obnoxious behaviour (91 percent); a negative or derogatory comment about a previous employer (nearly 95 percent) and extremist views about topics such as race (93 percent).
  • A range of social media platforms are used to vet candidates: Recruiters/human resources managers in the U.S. are accessing potential candidates using a range of web and social media platforms, Google (85 percent); Facebook (81 percent); LinkedIn (71 percent); Twitter (39 per cent) and Instagram (18 per cent); Flicker (15 per cent)
  • A majority of recruiters/human resources managers, 62 percent, consider information they find online about prospective job candidates important or very important
  • In the U.S., 40 percent of human resources managers somewhat trust what interview candidates post on LinkedIn
  • Nearly 50 percent of recruiters/human resources managers have turned down a job applicant because of their online profile
  • More than 40 percent of human resources professionals think that young adults are not aware of the need to act responsibly online and not post content that may embarrass them
  • Nearly 60 percent of study respondents in the U.S. have not conducted an online audit of themselves to clean out information that may not be appropriate

For more information, visit: www.avgdigitaldiaries.com

About AVG Digital Diaries

The first stage of AVG’s Digital Diaries campaign, Digital Birth, focused on children from birth to age two. The study, released in October 2010, found that on average, infants acquire a digital identity by the age of six months old. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of children have had their pre-birth scans uploaded to the Internet by their parent – establishing a digital footprint even before birth. The second stage, Digital Skills, was released in January 2011 and showed that for two to five year olds, ‘tech’ skills are increasingly replacing ‘life’ skills. In fact, many toddlers could use a mouse and play a computer game, but could not ride a bike, swim or tie their shoelaces.

Digital Playground, released in June 2011, found nearly half of six to nine year olds talk to friends online and use social networks. This was followed with Digital Maturity in November 2011, which revealed how 11 year olds had developed adult skills in technology. Digital Coming of Age, the fifth instalment of AVG’s Digital Diaries study released in April 2012, which interviewed parents of 14-17 year olds, found that nearly half of parents keep tabs on teens via Facebook, latest AVG Technologies’ research reveals.

Research for all stages of the Digital Diaries series was conducted by Research Now on behalf of AVG Technologies.

About AVG

www.avg.com

AVG's mission is to simplify, optimize and secure the Internet experience, providing peace of mind to a connected world. AVG's powerful yet easy-to-use software and online services put users in control of their Internet experience. By choosing AVG's software and services, users become part of a trusted global community that benefits from inherent network effects, mutual protection and support. AVG has grown its user base to 143 million active users as of September 30, 2012 and offers a product portfolio that targets the consumer and small business markets and includes Internet security, PC performance optimization, online backup, mobile security, identity protection and family safety software.

Keep in touch with AVG

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