Understanding the Role of Social Media in Job Applications

Social media screening for employment processes has become quite popular among the recruiters. After all, while most resumes and cover letters are polished and underline the strong sides of a candidate, social media profiles are open books full of information that might be the make or break (most often the latter) for a given applicant. Let’s discuss the role of social media and online presence in the job recruitment process in more detail.

What Is Social Media Screening?

Social media screening is the name of the process of researching a candidate’s social media profiles, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or LinkedIn. It includes looking at the posts, checking what the person likes and what content they comment on.

Why is it so critical? Because inappropriate content on your profiles might lead to your application being rejected. According to Statista, each year, about 43-57% of employers decide not to hire someone based purely on their social media profiles, which proves how important it is to keep your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram clean.

Social Media Screening: Not Only for Job Applications

Interestingly enough, social media and online presence aren’t important only when you are applying for a job – they can also cause you to be fired when you already have one.

Some companies simply react to controversial social media posts; other businesses conduct their employees’ social media screening from time to time; finally, there are organizations that take this one step further and introduce clear social media policies.

This means that you need to keep your social media clean and professional at all times or at least modify the privacy settings to prevent your employer from seeing certain content.

You may also read: Is LinkedIn a Waste of Time or a Valuable Professional Advancement Tool?

 social media screening

Preparing Your Social Media for Employment Interview

The fact that social media is often a part of the job applicant screening might be scary, but it does not have to be a disadvantage. You can leverage these platforms to bring out your positive traits, thus using the screening process to your benefit. How to do that? Take a look at some tips.

Set Your Profiles to “Private”

By changing your content privacy settings, you can make your posts and photos invisible to those who don’t follow you or aren’t on your friend list. Doing this for your whole profile might be beneficial since it will protect you in case you miss some unfavorable posts while cleaning your wall.

Remove or Hide Posts That You Don’t Want Your Employer to See

You don’t want the recruiter or manager to see photos from a wild party from the times you were young, but they still hold precious memories? Hide them on your wall! This applies to any posts that might be unfavorable, but it will require you to spend some time hiding/deleting them manually.

View Your Profile from the POV of a Stranger

Many social platforms give you tools to look at your profile from different perspectives and check how the privacy settings work in practice. Thus, consider viewing your profiles from the perspective of a stranger to spot any posts that you need to be deleted/hidden.

You can even ask a friend to help you out – they will tell you what they see from their perspective and maybe spot some content that you missed.

Google Yourself

Finally, try typing your name into Google – likely, this is how your (potential) employer will conduct their social media screening. This will give you a full overview of the information that one can find about you on the internet.

The Takeaway

Social media screening does not need to be scary. If you follow our tips, you will prepare yourself for this process and likely increase your chances of getting hired. So, change your privacy settings, hide or delete the posts you don’t want your employer to see, and verify what can be found on you in Google – you’ll have your social media profiles ready in no time.

Since we’re on the topic of social media, read our article on networking on social sites!

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