How do employers search Social Media?

Methods used by employers to examine your social media background are endless. Including becoming friends with a potential hire as a major one. The largest players in employment and social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook change their privacy rules so often that the vast majority of users cannot keep up and have some information publicly available for recruiters to dig up. Everything is being used to paint a picture of your online reputation.

Most recruiters also rely on social media to promote their open positions, thus promoting more engagements with potential candidates. These days with the world becoming so connected, it is very likely that you and a recruiter might have a mutual connection, in which case they can access more of your private information or see your posts.

Evidence seems to show that current and potential employers relish the opportunity to take a look at your personal Facebook page, for a variety of reasons.

Practically speaking, any negative types of posts are what attracts the attention of employers. Anything relating to alcohol, drugs, violence, or even politics will look bad. When they dive deeper, they want to know what type of personality you have and how it applies to their position.

The new recruiting world is slowly becoming driven by international consultancy companies using social media to gauge profound character insights about a person, focusing on things such as willingness to participate, teamwork characteristics or how a person is perceived by others. Using your social media activity as a new kind of credit report is today’s norm. So if you think your information, photos, thoughts and posts are safe just because you aren’t friends with your employer or anyone else in your workplace, think again.

But what the big deal if your boss does take a peek? By definition they too must have an account and an online presence and they’ll be understanding right? Unfortunately, not! It’s a case of do as I say not as I do.

Aside from the obvious entry of your personal space and privacy, the information that your current or future employers see about you on Facebook could adversely impact your chances of getting a promotion – or even getting hired at all. The most quoted reasons being inappropriate photographs and posts that misrepresent someone’s background or abilities.

Luckily, the largest employers and big corporations do not often participate in this kind of ‘background check’ of a potential candidate. Not because they don’t approve of the practice but simply because they do not have the time to navigate hundreds of profiles, analyze the content and then draw the necessary conclusion.

So in conclusion, keeping your information safe is a must, not only could your posts be harmful to your current career, but they could also damage your chances of landing that dream job that is just around the corner as well.