On Device Research surveyed 6,000 16-34 year olds across six countries – China, India, Nigeria, Brazil, the US and UK – for its latest Young People's Consumer Confidence Index. It found that that one in ten respondents had been rejected for a job because of comments or pictures on their social media profile.
This trend was most marked in China. There, 16% of 16-24 year olds and 14% of 25-34 year olds claimed to have experienced this. Brazil was least concerned, with comparable figures of 4% and 5%.
Younger Britons were more affected than their American counterparts. 9% of 16-24 year olds in the UK said they had been rejected, compared to 6% in the US. The situation was reversed for 25-34 year olds, where 7% of Americans had been turned down, but just 6% of Britons.
Overall, two thirds of those surveyed were not concerned that their use of social media could harm their future career prospects.
Sarah Quinn, On Device Research's marketing manager, said: "Better education of the impact of social media is needed, to ensure young people across the world are not making it even harder for themselves to get on the career ladder."
Her comments came as Euromonitor International, the research business, reported that high global youth unemployment had contributed to a real-terms decline in consumer goods sales between 2007 and 2012.
In particular, there was a 1.4% decline in per capita consumer expenditure on clothing and footwear in developed countries between 2007 and 2012, and a 1.3% fall in spending on leisure and recreation.
Euromonitor also noted that the average per capita gross incomes of 15-19 and 20-24 year olds had declined 0.5% and 0.7% respectively during the same time period.
Carrie Lennard, an analyst at Euromonitor, pointed to the fate of youth-oriented retailers, such as HMV in the UK and Gamestop in the US, which have gone into administration or cut their number of stores following the rise in youth unemployment.
This trend is likely to continue in the medium term, she said.
Data sourced from On Device Research, Euromonitor International; additional content by Warc staff