Document Type


Publication Date



Job applicants’ social media postings and presence can impact employers’ perceptions during the hiring process. The current study expands this line of inquiry, exploring the effects of both message characteristics (i.e. post temporality) and individual characteristics (i.e. hiring manager’s view about individuals’ ability to change over time). Results of a 2 (problematic content: present v. absent) × 3 (post temporality: recent v. 2 years ago v. 5 years ago) experiment (N = 220) revealed the negative main effect of the presence of problematic social media content was moderated by the temporality of the post: More recent posts more substantively impacted perceptions of person-job fit. This moderation effect was further moderated by the manager’s incrementalism: the belief people’s personalities can change over time. Similar patterns of effects were not identified for broader perceptions of the applicant’s general employability.

Funding Source

This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Taylor & Francis.


This article was published in Media Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/15213269.2023.2222529.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

Included in

Communication Commons