Do Employers check social media?
The question that is becoming increasingly common amongst jobseekers is ‘do employers really check social media?’ and the short answer is yes! The usage of social media is ever-increasing, with 4.7 billion users reported in 2022 and according to the Office of National Statistics, Social Networking is the 4th most common activity on the web. So, the activity on your profiles may hold just as much value as your CV does! The way in which an individual presents themselves online can be a deal breaker in whether you get hired or not! If you’re sitting there thinking, how will they find me on social media? What do they not want to see on my pages? What channels do they check? Then you’re in the right place, we’ve got you covered!
What is Pre-Screening and why do Employers do it?
Pre-screening is a key step in the hiring process. Employers use pre-screening to check the background history of candidates. Through doing this, the employer can ensure that the candidate is suitable for the workplace. There are numerous different types of pre-screening depending on the industry and the values of the employer, however, we’re here to talk about social media so let’s get to it!
70% of employers now enforce social media checks. The process of this involves researching an individual’s presence online and checking to see if there are any red flags. Remember, if you are hired, you are essentially representing this company, therefore this step of pre-screening is valuable.
What Social Media Platforms do Employers Check?
Your best bet is all of them! Although, many employers begin with checking your LinkedIn, as this is a work-based, professional platform, don’t be fooled, the others will be checked too! Employers will want to search platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the rapidly growing platform TikTok.
All these social media channels will allow your potential employer to gain a better understanding of who you are outside of work, which stands as an indicator as to whether you would be a good cultural fit for the team you would be joining, and if your values coincide with those of the Company. You may now be wondering, what do employers not want to see on social media?
What should you not post on Social Media?
There are many things you shouldn’t post on social media. The obvious ones are any posts linked to illegal activity, such as drugs, guns, or violence. This behaviour can be damaging to the Company’s reputation. Secondly, a huge red flag would also be any form of prejudice, no employer wants to see this. It’s also important that candidates are acting in a professional way online, how an individual acted online in their previous job can be a clear indicator of how they’re going to act if they were to be employed.
Has the candidate shared confidential information? Have they made comments about previous co-workers or their workplace? All of these are driving factors for an employer to reject your application. Some other behaviours employers don’t want to see include the consumption of alcohol, swearing or profanity, bad spelling, and grammar (especially if you are applying for a role in Journalism), and lifestyle choices that aren’t a cultural fit.
Rather than leaving your social media to chance, why not check yourself?
Am I better off having no Social Media?
You may be thinking without social media, there are no problems. Believe it or not, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, 47% of employers say they are less likely to interview someone who has no social media presence at all. Social media isn’t all bad, it can be very beneficial in showcasing your characteristics and your achievements.
Perhaps a good place to start, if you aren’t keen on social media, would be LinkedIn, at least this way, you can keep up to date with what’s going on in your industry. If you’re thinking of creating a LinkedIn account, there are many useful resources with top tips to help you set up your profile!
However, don’t panic if social media isn’t for you. You can use this as a talking point during the interview stage.
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