With its popularity of the Internet and its very public nature, companies have had to navigate the difficulty of creating strong distinctions between their employees’ social networking habits and their own public reputations. Increasingly, companies run either unofficial or official background screening checks on potential employees’ social media channels to look out for red flags they’d prefer to avoid. This can be done by anything as easy as a Google search (remember: the internet is forever) or using advanced social media listening tools.
If you’re a young, fresh-off-university jobseeker, what’s a good way to ensure that you’ll pass this common screening process? Here are a few ways you can make your odds at getting that coveted job stronger:
- Think before you post!
The adage used to be “think before you speak”, but with social media becoming the more common (and harder to erase) soapboxes, the same rule applies to your social media content. Employers are on the lookout for employees who are able to conduct themselves in a problem-free, politically-correct, and professional manner, and so the odds are, you won’t be a prize candidate if your social media shows that you take part in any of the following:
- Online bullying
- Insulting/talking poorly about former employers.
The reasons that these online behaviours are considered to be unattractive in prospective employees are pretty obvious, and so a good rule of thumb to follow if you’re looking for or intending to keep a job, is: “Would I hire me if I said/did this and put it up for the world to see?”
- Privacy is a virtue (and a setting you can use!)
If the freedom to say what you want on your own channels matter a great deal to you, then you may consider turning off the public setting on your social media. What little it may cost you by way of new followers may be worth more in the long run when you get to express yourself freely on your social channels.
Another alternative is to have both public and private channels, to make room for your personal brand in all its different expressions. Given the rise of Social Media as a tool in journalism, many in the profession have cultivated public social media accounts related directly to the work they do, while also maintaining more private channels with clever usernames that evade your standard Google search. This allows them to use the platforms for work and play, and keeping a clear line between the two.
- Do a regular digital audit
We’ve already told you that the internet is forever, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ‘delete posts’ options too. Some more practiced internet dwellers have taken to cleansing their digital presence regularly by removing unwanted traces on their social media. Given that Facebook is now over 13 years old, there is a lot of historical data left untouched, and which can easily be found. You never know when an uninformed opinion you wrote as a naive teenager might come and bite you in the butt as a young adult. Going back through your old social media posts and removing anything unsavoury may be the best gift you can give your job-seeking self.
- It’s not just your social media footprint
So let’s say you do all the above, and you’re still unsure if you’ve done enough to safeguard your job candidacy. What then?
Luckily for you, background checks are no longer the realm of employers alone. While you are working on above-mentioned methods to manage your digital presence, the Internet also offers you the opportunity to run self-checks that provides credible insights into your background beyond your online footprint.
With Verity Online’s new self-check tool, you can run a check on criminality and financial background for a nominal fee and get the results within a short period of time. Not only will it give you peace of mind, having a clean background check adds a layer of legitimacy and assurance to future employers on your track records, making you stand out from other candidates.
Don’t wait – check out this new online-only service now!