While the information on your social media handles won’t simply display upon doing a background check, your posts can have grave consequences for your career. It can rip you off of job opportunities in the future and might even cost you your present job.
As per CareerBuilder’s 2018 survey, two-thirds of employers screened their applicants using their social media handles. Similarly, a majority of the employers make it a point to check their candidates’ posts on their social media handles.
Companies do this for a horde of different reasons. A common reason is that they want an assurance that the applicant will easily adapt to the workplace’s unique culture and environment.
Social Media: A Portal to Your Mind
By looking at someone’s posts on their social media account, you can look into their mind beyond what they have listed on their job application or resume. Employers are not prohibited from checking the candidates’ social media handles, and hence before applying to get a job, make sure that you audit them well. Assume your future employer will look at all the posts on your social media handle.
When an employer checks an applicant’s Twitter or Facebook, their goal is to see what they are like as a person. One of the famous tools that enable a background check of a candidate is checkpeople.com. They’re not out there to hunt for sensitive or negative information.
That being said, there’s no need to panic and delete your whole profile. Some job seekers are so afraid a potential employer might discover something damaging or embarrassing that deleting the profile is what they resort to. Don’t do this because the approach might backfire.
Without Having an Online Presence, You May Not Get a Chance to Appear for An Interview
Based on a study mentioned above, 47% of employers will not invite someone who doesn’t have an online presence to give an interview. A fifth believe that they expected aspirants to have one, while more than a quarter wanted to collect more knowledge before calling an applicant.
Whether purposeful or unknowingly lacking a social media profile makes it look like someone is disguising something. The perception is that you’re either hiding behind a fake name or you’ve set your profile to private, so you are not eligible to be found. Neither of these gives off a professional vibe.
If you discontinue your profile, you cannot stay rest assured that entire data will disappear. It’s decent to sanitize the profiles that you have online.
How do I Protect my Privacy Then?
Is it valid to check social media profiles? Yes. To look into something beyond that? Not necessarily. There is no denying that a potential employer cannot ask you for your social media profile’s login credentials. It is uncomfortable and might raise questions for some. If you ever go through such a situation, you may have to reconsider your decision to pertain and apply for an employment opportunity with the company.
As employers and recruiters are mainly concerned with an applicant’s public presence, the best technique is creating two distinct social media profiles. One is for the professional personal and another for personal. Your proficient account will feature career goals and achievements. You can choose to keep your private one locked. Ideally, you should limit your followers to a select few.
What Recruiters Want to See?
Most employers usually look for varied reasons to give an applicant a job, and they don’t look for reasons to reject them. Almost 60% of recruiters carry out background checks in search of information supporting an applicant’s qualifications for the position. You should want employers to know more about what you are as a person. Half want to ensure that the applicant should have a professional presence online.
When asked about their findings, a third of employers reported being impressed by the candidate’s professional image. Just over a third stated, the applicant was very creative. 37% of employers discovered information in support of qualifications.
What Don’t They Want in Social Media Profiles of Potential Candidates?
Inappropriate or inflammatory information, videos, or pictures are the largest red flag for most recruiters. Information about doing drugs or drinking and racist or sexist comments comes in a close second. Being implicated in criminal behavior, not having proper communication skills, and fibbing about qualifications were frowned upon by 27% of the recruiters who took part in the survey.
Recruiters look for a full picture of what a candidate is about, which includes your behavior online. A few things turn off the recruiters, and they are not looking to have such elements in your social profile. Let us have a look at some major turn-offs for employers.
• You are Private
Numerous hiring managers like to know more about a candidate and also see their image online. If you aren’t available online, it might create a problem for you. They assume that either you don’t want others to know anything about you or don’t like to show something.
Don’t make the mistake of not having a social profile. Instead, consider drawing that thin line between your personal and professional personas. This way, employers will get to see the qualities that they want to have in a candidate.
• You are Inactive
If you are not active on social media, it depicts that you don’t engage with others. It creates a wrong impression of who you are as a person. By staying active, you can showcase to your employers that you can networking and engage others.
You represent your brand online, and you should commit to it. Repost a few social media posts, or publish new ones just a few times in the week. It determines how insightful, creative or interesting you are.
• Buying Fake Followers
Be genuine, even if that involves having just a few followers. The number of followers is more of a vanity metric that doesn’t have any real meaning. Being followed by people who lead in your industry and relevant influencers is beneficial instead of having numerous followers who are not pertinent. There are several tools present online that employers can use to recognize fake followers instantly.
If reckoning, do hiring managers even bother to look at your social media profile? Yes, they do. Long lost are the days when traditional ways of hiring were utilized. A current study has established that almost 84% of recruiters recruit through social media, and 43% know more about candidates through search engines and social media.
Gone are the days when the resume was the only source for hiring managers to screen a candidate. Anyone can fake an interview for one day, but social media profiles act as a mirror, and employers get to know more about a candidate.
The Bottom Line
If you face trouble in getting selected, even after clearing all major rounds of the interview, there must be some problem in your profile on social media. Screen through it and try to look for real issues where they belong and how to fix them.
Take it as an opportunity to show corporations that you are capable of doing everything and are an all-rounder. You possess much more than what is mentioned in your resume. In the current era, it is everything about your published posts’ quality and the reach of the follower circle.