Social Media Background Checks – Friend or Foe?

Sheena Stemler Job Search Tips Leave a Comment

Social Media Background ChecksYour next employer may be watching you.

Social media background checks are becoming popular hiring tools. Before extending employment contracts, companies of all sizes are making it a point to review the social media profiles of job candidates.

Pros and Cons of Social Media Background Checks

To most of us, this is not new news. However, reports of social media background checks are most newsworthy when a candidate’s inappropriate pictures and distasteful comments lead to his or her disqualification from a job. Thankfully, a social media background check can be beneficial if you maintain a positive public persona.

In a survey conducted by TrustedID’s social network monitoring site,, 47 per cent of hiring professionals admitted to screening the social media profiles of applicants before contacting them for initial interviews. Similarly, of the 300 survey respondents, an overwhelming 270 people report using this type of background check to assist them in hiring high calibre candidates.

What does this mean for you? Are you ready to interview or do your social media profiles need an overhaul?

Hire me today – My social media profiles are pristine!

If your social profiles portray you accurately, mirroring your positive nature, professional credentials, hard-earned awards, creativity, effective communication and genuine likeability, this type of background check may play to your favour.

Here are five social media qualities that appeal to hiring professionals:

  • Your résumé claims (work history, accolades, education) are published and confirmed.
  • You use proper grammar and spelling.
  • Your G-rated pictures exemplify your “out-of-the-office” personality, hobbies and creativity.
  • Your posts and comments are positive and tactful.
  • Hiring managers find you to be a good match for their companies.

Social profile overhaul taking place – Expect my application next month:

On the other hand, having questionable photos and comments on your profiles may disqualify you from being considered for a job, even if your résumé is a hit.

Remember when the extent of prepping for a job search meant getting a haircut? More work may be involved now. In some cases, you may need to conduct a social media overhaul.

Here are some tips for making your social media profiles background check approved:

  • Closely review your timelines and delete all derogatory posts and pictures.
  • Revisit your “About you” sections; align them with your current aspirations and professional goals.
  • Interact with online groups that share similar professional passions.

Social media background checks can be good news for job candidates. According to the survey, 68 per cent of hiring professionals report hiring applicants because of their social media profiles. Similarly, 69 per cent report not hiring applicants after conducting this type of background check.

What do your social media profiles say about you? Could you get hired today or is an overhaul in order?

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