1 in 10 young people losing out on jobs because of pics and comments on social media

30 May 2013

A survey of young people aged 16 to 34 shows the impact their use of social media can have on their careers – but this won’t stop them from using it.

On Device Research questioned more than 17,000 young people in six countries – the UK, the US, Nigeria, India, Brazil and China – on how social media has impacted their careers.

The results of this survey reveal that 1 in 10 people aged 16 to 34 have been rejected for a job because of comments or pictures on an online profile. The figure is highest in China, where 16pc of those aged 16 to 24 and 14pc of those aged 25 to 34 had lost out on a job in this way.

Facebook was the most popular social network being used by those surveyed but, despite the potential negative impact on career prospects, nearly two-thirds were not concerned by this. This attitude was most common in the UK, where 71pc of those surveyed were unconcerned with social media’s impact on career prospects, even though 15pc had been rejected for a job because of content posted there.

The clear majority of those surveyed said the risk of losing out on a job did not deter them from using social media. In fact, they were more likely to adapt their profile to impress their friends than future employers.

On Device Research on young people and social media's impace on careers

Source: On Device Research

With about one-quarter of the world’s youth (aged 15 to 24) neither working nor studying, On Device Research recommends better education on social media to make these users aware of the negative effects it can bring.

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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