How Employers Filter Out Young Job Candidates

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You tossed your graduation cap in the air, and before it hit the ground, you realized you need a job. But you heard that employers are being flooded with resumes and that they have secret ways to screen you out of contention for that primo retail job you applied for. Their job is to find the best fit and the most mature young candidate. Your job is to make sure you get on the short list. So what filters do employers use to kick you out of contention? Listen up:


The Social Media Screen

You had a ball when you lived in the dorms or went Greek and it shows on your Facebook and other social media sites. Believe it or not, these sites are now being scoured by employers for behavioral clues. Kris Ruby, president of Ruby Media Group uses social media to filter out job candidates. "When I get a resume, the first thing I do is look at the links to their social media profiles. You can get the best possible picture of who someone is by how they act in social media -- not what they write in their resume," said Ruby. So delete those tequila “body shot” and ganja-toking photos and replace them with family picnic and other wholesome pics.


The LinkedIn Screen

Employers use this professional social media site like never before. So make sure you have a strong presence on LinkedIn with lots of connections, endorsements and updates. In a Forbes article, Laura Lashbrook Colby, Division Director of staffing agency Beacon Hill Associates, says, “If we are staffing for a recruiting or sales/marketing/business development role, then it is a big red flag if a candidate has either no profile or a limited profile with a low number of connections.” If you’re applying for a job where you have to meet clients on a regular basis, a strong LinkedIn profile will keep you in the running until you get the interview. Employers also suggest you post a photo on your profile; one that’s current, professional looking, friendly and energetic.


The HR Blacklist

Yep, it exists. Recruiters and HR managers use the HR Blacklist and others like it to screen out candidates. If you committed a serious faux pas or performed badly in an interview, you may be on this “no hire” list. For a small fee, any company can find out if their candidate has gotten the thumbs down by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Scary.


The Inside Referral

In this tight job market, HR managers don’t have time to read hundreds of resumes or face the gauntlet of applicants on Monster job sites. Big companies like Ernst & Young are increasingly drawing on a key resource to find the find the ideal candidate—their own employees. “A referral puts them in the express lane,” said Larry Nash, director of experienced and executive recruiting at Ernst & Young, to The New York Times. So connect with any working grads you know via social media, seminars, conferences and trade shows.


Wonder why you haven’t received that all–important call for an interview? You may have been screened out. Time to get busy and polish up you image.


Image courtesy of jscreationzs/


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  • Elizabeth M
    Elizabeth M
    If more college students realized their young actions/decisions, be good or not could well return to prove themselves even years later, maybe the "entitled" attitude of academia would be eradicated.Good article for all to read!
  • melody c
    melody c
    I think that this is bs and not fair at all why waste people time telling them fill out an application answer all those questions for nothing the people that they are overlooking could be the best person for the job whatever
  • Joyce R
    Joyce R
    Employer may tell employees they have a policy or are legally limited in their response to inquiries from other companies looking to hire. What they don't tell you is certain phrases can also keep you from getting that interview, phrases like: not eligible for rehire, poor job performance, does not get along with others, not trustworthy, terminated, and other comments made off the records.
  • Gary J
    Gary J
    If I understand this, if one just has a bad connection with an interviewer, whether it be a personality clash, or maybe one just doesn't feel well and doesn't connect, this may cause us to be put on a black list for future employers? Maybe they just don't like the way we look, what a prejudicial and cruel way to jeopardize or derail one;s working career.
  • David L
    David L
    InterestingBlacklisting individuals based on merit of a prior evaluation, interview, or discharge for the companies’ benefit often crosses the line of illegal practice of discrimination and infringement on privacy rights of ordinary citizens. However, to fight this practice requires long draw out legal battles (usually 18 months or longer to reach superior court) with company attorneys who specialize in such areas requiring the individual(s) probably unemployed or underemployed having to pay out big bucks for a competent attorney for representation. This right to background check historically goes some years back enabling employers to reject felons but has become almost a common practice for big companies use to screen individuals quite often on their profile to fit with the companies puppet policies.  What is being done to bring some of this white collar corruption to justice!Companies regularly are able to blacklist by using the proper words in their response to a check by a potential employer. Legal but not so legal when the impact is far reaching to breadwinners and individuals who have worked their lives to provide and pay taxes are now swept aside. Unions were formed to offer protection from such injustices, unfortunately, their own corruption, rules and inability to realistically view the changing market and remain competitive cost dearly. The major companies have also played a big role in this ideology. When Japan began their imports of cars they were small underpowered and not very reliable. The Big 3 just laughed, and viewed the imports as inferior and would not be a threat. We all know what occurred the manufacturers of Japan continually improve their products and by the mid 1980’s had many of their vehicles vastly superior in quality, reliability, efficiency than American car Makers.So the companies began purchasing Japanese designs to build their cars under company budget constraints which were often dictated strongly by unions. The product produced was inferior to the Japanese produced exact model. I think there is no simple solution for this area but the blacklisting is downright infringement on citizen’s right to privacy and the companies’ executives who support these policies, pay for services, or use questionable practices to do this must be held accountable and treated like any convict!

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