masiello employment services social media screening

Selfies, hashtags and vacation video posts may seem unrelated to your job search, but did you know that 70% of employers now use social media screening to research candidates during the hiring process? More than half of employers surveyed have found posts that led to them not making a job offer. 

And, according to the same2018 CareerBuilder survey of more than 1,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals, 48% of employers check the social media of their current employees. Surprisingly, 10% check daily. Also worth noting is that 34% have fired or reprimanded employees for their social media content. 

Do those statistics shock you? They shouldn’t. In a world now connected extensively through the internet and social networking sites, your pages, channels, and posts are now essentially an extension of your resume. 

What Are Employers Looking for with Social Media Screening? 

social media screening search engineIf employers are searching you out online, what exactly are they looking to find? Many are using search engines to check out a candidate. If they can’t find you, they’re less likely to pursue an interview. This is because they either can’t find the information they need or they’re disappointed in your lack of an online presence.

Employers are using social media screening specifically to dive deeper into who you are. They are looking for details that support your qualifications for the job and to examine the professional extent of your online presence. They also want to know what others are posting about you. 

Most say they are simply looking to ensure there are no red flags that should prevent your hire. Some examples of questionable candidate posts that employers don’t want to see during a screening are:

  • Provocative photos or videos 
  • Drinking or drug use
  • Criminal behaviors 
  • Discriminatory or racist language
  • Lies about qualifications
  • Bad-mouthing of a previous employer
  • An unprofessional screen name
  • Poor communication skills

How Should You Clean Up Your Social Media?

Before you apply for a job, audit your accounts for posts that might be questionable to an employer. Make sure your LinkedIn page is as professional and updated as your resume. Do not delete your entire profile as many employers feel this means you have something to hide. A fake username is also not likely to be viewed favorably.

It’s legal for employers to check public accounts through social media screening, so if you’re uncomfortable with that then you should make your accounts private. Many people now create multiple social media accounts on various platforms, one for professional use that is public and one for personal use that is locked for privacy. 

Social media does not show up on a traditional background check, although certain companies offer social media-based background check services. This is generally a separate paid service that not many employers tend to utilize.

Use Social Media to Your Benefit 

social media screening channelsSocial media is a powerful tool. Use it to your advantage rather than your detriment. Post about achievements made toward your career goals and positive employment experiences. Share industry-related posts and network with professional peers and organizations.

Job seekers should want a social media screening to be a benefit. Hiring managers are pleased when they find information about a candidate’s professional qualifications. They also want to see that you present yourself in a professional way as far as imagery and display creativity. 

Well-rounded interests, good communication skills, and a personality that seems to fit the company culture are also sought-after by employers while researching social media. Awards and great references help bolster your appeal, too.

Don’t let your social media accounts prevent you from landing the job of your dreams. Think before you push that post button. If the content wouldn’t leave a good impression on an employer, hit cancel.   

We connect qualified candidates to well-established employers across many industries in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Contact Masiello Employment Services to learn more about our temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct hire placements.