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Social media has totally transformed the way we communicate and work. And today’s hiring managers pay attention to a candidate’s online profiles when they’re considering a new hire. What they find during a social media screening plays a big role in the decision-making process. 

According to a study by The Harris Poll, 70% of employers believe in social media screening, with 67% putting it into practice. 55% said they found inappropriate content that resulted in them not hiring a candidate. If this doesn’t give you butterflies, it really should. 

You need to be on top of your social media game. Not by posting what will get the most likes or shares but by avoiding posts that could prevent you from getting hired. It’s important to understand the types of posts that are acceptable and those that aren’t.  

From doubling up your accounts, knowing what types of posts to avoid, to seeing exactly what hiring managers are looking for, we’ll walk you through the best practices to avoid social media screening problems. But first, we’ll give you the skinny on what exactly social media screening is from the employer’s side of things. 

What is Social Media Screening? 

hiring manager screening social mediaSocial media screening is the process hiring managers use to check your profiles for problematic posts. The three main platforms employers check are LinkedIn, Facebook, and X (formerly Twitter), but they will also hop over to Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube if you have a channel. 

The point of a social media screening is to get a picture of who you are as a person. They look at what you post, who you follow, who follows you, and the posts you’re being tagged in. The top platform employers will check is LinkedIn. Essentially the online version of your resume, LinkedIn has long been considered the most professional social media platform. So your LinkedIn should be like your resume: up-to-date, clean, and well-rounded. 

It’s not on LinkedIn that you’re likely to run into trouble though. It’s the personal platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok, that create the most opportunity for issues. It is worth noting that hiring managers are not private detectives. They aren’t trying to dig up anything damaging. They are just trying to get to know you pre-interview so they can be prepared with questions. It’s up to you to anticipate the kinds of problems they’d see. 

What Are Hiring Managers Looking For? 

candidates on social mediaHiring managers are looking for clean, professional content that demonstrates sincerity. This is why they scour LinkedIn first. If you’re in the habit of re-posting interesting articles about your field, following pertinent companies, and creating professional posts, this will demonstrate to hiring managers that you’re highly attuned to what’s going on in your field. 

This level of professionalism applies to personal platforms, too. Do not post anything that displays:

🚫Inappropriate photographs or videos

🚫Lots of profanity

🚫Bullying

🚫Drug or alcohol use

🚫Untruthful information

🚫Nudity of any kind

🚫Complaints about your employer or job

🚫Offensive memes

🚫Or other inappropriate material. 

It’s also important to make sure you’re not tagged in anything that paints you in a negative light.

How to Keep Your Social Media Clean as a Whistle

social mediaThe solution to these issues isn’t to deactivate all your social media profiles. Not being on social media, especially LinkedIn, can actually hurt your job prospects. It’s fine to have a social media presence; you just need to be vigilant about what’s there. 

Social media paints a picture of your life and you as a person. So why not stick to only posting that which highlights your best qualities? Put it out there that you have knowledge, keep up with trends, and are passionate about your career. Never be afraid to share your accomplishments! Seriously, highlighting promotions, life achievements like graduating, and any awards you receive will show potential employers that you’re a motivated person. 

If you’re someone who values personal privacy, you might want to consider making two accounts. One can be private for just family and trusted friends. The other can be a public, professional account you share with everyone else. Remember, hiring managers are not private detectives looking for a scoop. They are just doing a preliminary screening. If what they see is clean, catered, and professional, there’s not going to be a problem.  

What this all boils down to is common sense. If you’re about to post something someone might take offense to, even if it is the littlest thing, don’t post it. Think Twice, Post Once, or Not At All. It really is that easy.

Afraid of what your social media profile might do for your job prospects? Let us help you! We’re a team of employment professionals who have been in the business for over 40 years. We can help you navigate the job market with ease and clarity. 

So, if you’re looking for work, give us a call at 978 682 4994 or visit moorestaffing.com to learn more about who we are and what we do!