Keep It Clean: Social Media Screenings Gain in Popularity

Looking for your next job? Make sure your Social Media Screenings are safe for work, because employers are screening candidates’ presence online.

  • Maintaining your personal social media accounts in a professional and suitable manner is crucial to your job hunt (and to keeping your job after you land it).
  • More than 75% of hiring managers think that looking at a candidate’s or employee’s social media presence is a legitimate technique to check them out.
  • The first step in making sure your social media is acceptable for work is to stay away from anything offensive, obscene, violent, sexual, or unlawful.
  • The purpose of this essay is to help job seekers make sure that their social media presence help, not hinder, their employment hunt.

Your professional life might be significantly impacted by your personal social media accounts. In a 2020 Harris Poll study, 70% of the employers who participated stated they thought social media accounts of applicants should be checked before hiring. Additionally, 78% of companies think that existing workers should keep up a professional social media presence.

According to DeeAnn Sims-Knight, the creator of Dark Horse PR, “since we tend to perceive our own social media accounts as being ‘personal,’ there’s a strong likelihood that by examining someone’s profile, you’ll get a look of their personality beyond the CV.” How to Write a Great Resume is Related Content

What is a social media screening?

Prior to hiring, an applicant would often undergo a social media check while applying for a position. It entails investigating a prospect’s social media accounts and behaviour, such as the posts, likes, and comments they make. They could check networks like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and WhatsApp, among others.

Employers often look for any warning signs. These can include discussing unlawful activity, insulting remarks, aggressive or violent behaviour, sexually explicit content, or private information.

Which social media channels can employers check?

Examine your social media profiles before submitting a job application. While it’s crucial to look over every account, some websites, like LinkedIn, are more likely to be looked at by hiring managers.

According to Matt Erhard, managing partner of Summit Search Group, “LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the three key networks that the majority of employers examine.” Since it is the most pertinent, I am personally most interested in the candidate’s LinkedIn profile.

The majority of businesses use LinkedIn as a supplement to resumes, and some actively advertise opportunities there. They are still probably to check other social media platforms, such Instagram. Make sure you are aware of who you follow and how they are responding with your material in addition to what you are posting.

“My goal when I look at a candidate’s Facebook or Twitter account is more to get a feel of who they are as a person than to hunt for anything that may hurt them,” Erhard said.

The main social media platforms are described in the following details:


Instagram allows you a little bit more control over what is posted on your profile than the other social media sites do. To offer potential employers a feel of your attitude and personality, keep your page professional and upbeat.


Anyone may see the tweets you post on Twitter and the ones you like or reply to, unless your profile is set to private. Setting your Twitter profile to private will stop potential employers from viewing your material, but you can miss out on a chance to leave a good impression.


Facebook is frequently regarded as a safer kind of social networking since, if your settings are private, only individuals you are friends with can normally access your profile. You should still make sure that you are monitoring what users post to your wall, include you in, and comment on.


TikTok is gradually developing into a site that recruiters frequently use. Your future employer may learn more about you and how you could interact with other employees at the firm by watching the films you make on the app.

Advice on how to pass social media screenings

Utilize the following advice to gain from social media screenings by prospective employers.

1. Don’t erase your profile.

While some job hopefuls may be tempted to fully delete their internet presence out of concern that anything humiliating or damaging may be found, employers believe such tactic can backfire.

According to a poll by The Harris Poll, about one in five companies said they won’t contact someone for an interview if they can’t locate them online. Not only does deleting your profile make you appear to be attempting to hide anything, but it also doesn’t ensure that the data is truly erased. Instead, it’s great practice to maintain tidy, current social media profiles.

According to Dana Case, head of operations at MyCorporation, “erasing all of your profiles frequently signals that you have something to conceal.” Even after being deleted, “many LinkedIn or Instagram profiles may still appear in Google searches.”

2. Use social media to your benefit.

Contrary to what potential employees may believe, most companies are seeking for justifications to recruit someone. In a poll of more than 1,000 employers, The Harris Poll discovered that 67% of them seek evidence that an applicant is qualified before hiring them. Your confidence in your online presence will be demonstrated to potential employers by include your social media accounts on your resume.

According to John Calabrese, a franchise owner for Express Employment Professionals, “try to maintain your social media profiles current, especially LinkedIn, to represent your current job experience and successes.”

Read our advice on what to put online to maximize your digital job hunt if you want to learn more.

3. Google yourself.

Search for yourself on Google for one minute every few weeks or months. It’s wise to anticipate what will appear online because this is probably where your potential employer will start when looking at your web presence. Additionally, you’ll be able to ensure that all the top search results are things you’d be OK with your employer viewing and get ahead of any potential problems.

You may even think about setting up your own Google alerts so that you’ll be informed immediately if something new arises. If everything continues to be good, you can proceed. There are businesses you may engage with to assist enhance your web profile if there is anything you’d want to remove.

How to make your profiles private

Consider opening at least one social media account for work-related objectives while keeping personal accounts private, as it is lawful for employers to examine public social media accounts.

The creation of several, independent social media identities on social media platforms is one of the finest techniques, according to Case. “Job applicants could post pictures of their workspaces and professional achievements on their professional Instagram account, for instance. Additionally, they could have a closed, more private personal account that only a few people can follow.

Watch out for hiring supervisors that ask for information that isn’t readily available online. This should raise a red alert about the company since it is comparable to companies asking questionable questions during interviews.

Employers have reportedly requested social media login information and passwords from applicants, Erhard added. Although it’s not legally against the law in many countries, I think it’s a privacy breach.

Does social media show up on background checks?

Background checks often don’t reveal social media accounts. The majority of background checks contain information on credit history, legal issues, and job history. However, there could be specific circumstances in which social media background checks reveal social profiles.

Erhard said, “There are businesses that conduct social media-based background checks, but it is a distinct paid service. Even while I am aware of it, I personally don’t know any employers that have used that type of service.

What to avoid on social media

According to the report, a staggering 55% of employers that utilize social media screens admitted to finding stuff that led them to pass on hiring a candidate.

Calabrese stated that they should be free of vulgar language and unsuitable images. “Delete any posts that could include personal insults. It’s acceptable to express your opinions, but do so in a respectful and responsible manner.

For advice on maintaining a professional internet presence, refer to the poll results from The Harris Poll:

  1. Don’t publish anything that might be disrespectful. Remove it from your public page if you wouldn’t bring in a specific photo, put it in your cubicle, or say it at work.
  2. In your posts, be deliberate. What do I want to achieve by sharing this? Is a private or public page the best fit for this?
  3. Ensure simplicity: Keep in mind that with your public profiles, less is more.
  4. Never vent on social media about former or present coworkers or bosses.

Once you acquire a job, you shouldn’t let up on your internet presence either. According to the report, 78% of employers look up existing employees on social networking sites.

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