Reviewing your social media presence should be an extension of every job application process, new advice reveals.
The experts at employment screening CV Insight collaborated with six third-party HR and social media specialists to discover why employers action social media checks on prospective employees, also giving advice on best practice for prospective employees, including the process to follow to complete a thorough ‘social media MOT’.
One of the main reasons prospective employers might complete social media checks is to get an insight into if you could be a good culture and values fit for the company. However, they are also looking for certain reg flags or risks, which mainly include: Extreme Views / Opinions; Hate & Discriminatory Behaviour; Inappropriate / Undesirable Content; Illegal Activities; Addiction & Substance Abuse; Violent Content; and Sexually Explicit Content.
When it comes to completing a ‘social media MOT’, the experts recommend first doing a Google search of your name with relevant factors such as location, industry, current employer, job title and seeing what comes up. From there, critically review the results as if you were the prospective employer and get rid of anything which either doesn’t align with who you are now or could be deemed as inappropriate.
The experts’ opinions are that it is better being proactive is better than reactive, but both are important if you’ve not reviewed your activity before –
Reactive tips for completing a ‘social media MOT’:
- Remove anything that you feel no longer aligns with who you are now
- Review your personal historic social media activity for anything which can be deemed a risk factor (based on the list above) and remove any offending posts
- Review your linked historic social media activity (including anything you have shared, commented on, or been tagged in) for anything which can be deemed a risk factor (based on the list above) and remove any offending posts
However, the experts added a disclaimer that whilst you can delete the original post, you can’t control where that initial data has been viewed or potentially saved – any deleted information can potentially be found if someone is looking hard enough.
Proactive tips when using social media:
- Share your personality but keep your views neutral – particularly when it comes to personal views on politics, news items, and any controversial trends
- If you are in doubt over whether or not the content is appropriate, err on the side of caution and don’t post it
- Show respect and be mindful of how things can be perceived
- Be conscious when sharing, commenting on, or being otherwise linked with other people’s posts
- Check your privacy settings
- Turn on the options for reviewing/approving tags
Alex Gunthardt, Founder & Operations Director at CV Insight, commented that “social media checks retrieve publicly available information on social media sites to provide insight into a candidate’s background and character. These are considered particularly important for regulated industries, for any company that conducts work of a sensitive nature where the job role may involve access to sensitive information or for a job role which is considered high profile for example a senior position within a company. These checks should only be run as part of your pre-employment screening for candidates that have been offered employment with your company and not for assessing candidates in the recruitment process.