The Relationship Between a Job Applicant's Online Presence and Employment Suitability

Document Type


Publication Date



Health Services Administration


This study examines the relationship between a job applicant's online presence and their likelihood to land the job they want. Research suggests that in today's world, social media continues to play a bigger role in the hiring process. Social media is defined as, "Websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking." Often employers search for a job applicant's online presence to look for information supporting a candidate's qualifications, to ensure the candidate has a professional online persona, and to see what others may be posting about the candidate. In reviewing the literature, statistics pointed to a large use of social media websites when searching for a reason to hire someone and also for a reason not to. We hypothesized that social networking profiles can have a negative impact on employment suitability. We used a survey asking hiring managers to answer questions regarding social media's role in the hiring process of their workplace. We then examined the results to determine if a job seeker's social media presence helps or hurts their employment suitability. Though the hiring process varies from workplace to workplace, the results suggested a conclusion that roughly supported our hypothesis.

First Advisor

Jewel Goodman Shepherd

Research Area

Health Services Administration

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