04/03/2012 11:17 am ET

Have Facebook Profiles Become The New Resume? Survey Says

We all know posting photos of your weekend keg party on Facebook can cause problems at the office, but now there's evidence that it can hurt your chances even getting in the door. In the 2012 annual technology market survey by Eurocom Worldwide, almost one in five technology executives admit rejecting a job applicant based on the person's social media profile.

Previous Eurocom Worldwide surveys had found that nearly 40 percent of technology companies look at job candidates' profiles on social media as part of the hiring process. However, this is the first poll the firm has conducted that found evidence companies are actually rejecting candidates based on what they post on social media.

Why it matters to your business: Sure, looking at a job candidate's social media profiles can offer loads of insight about them, but is it legal to use that information as a reason to reject an applicant? Be very careful in treading on this shaky ground. If you do review social media sites as part of the hiring process, it's important to make sure that your rejection of an applicant is based on legitimate business concerns, and not for reasons that could be construed as discriminatory, such as political views, race, religion or marital status. In today's litigious society, it’s smart to consult with an attorney before involving social media in the hiring process.