Virtually every employer does some sort of online investigation of employment candidates these days, whether formal or informal.  It’s just too easy and helpful.  News flash: Some employees stretch the truth on resumes.  A Social Media Background Check can often shed light on off-resume positive or negative factors.

Employers are often disenchanted by negative postings, even if they’re not about drugs, parties, and wild behaviors.  Candidates are still judged in some ways as to whether they’d fit the company culture, and “Debbie Downer” type personalities will not score well.  So while candidates can certainly remove alarming pictures and postings, a negative attitude on social media accounts could nonetheless signal to employers that beyond the resume, a candidate would not be “a good chemistry fit” in the company.

Employers often cite these other areas of concern:
• Xenophobic or otherwise offensive and judgemental remarks about groups;
• Entries about political views.  Yes, political correctness is increasingly overshadowing social media;
• Negative or complaining posts, even if they are written in a cryptic manner, suggest a bad attitude at work or are in general a whiny personality;
• Too much interest in celebrities and the jet-set lifestyle;
• Nasty or overly critical posts, such as name-calling and accusations about others;
• Offensive posts, such as photos flashing the middle finger or text posts containing micro-racial slurs.  These may not be illegal, but they won’t help the chances of a job offer.

When reviewing Social Media Background Checks, employers like to see potential employees who showcase themselves as well-rounded with an interest in their practice area or industry so any posts of this nature will help.  Perhaps we’d call this the “Linked-In standard.”  Some go further and even manage to promote themselves in a quite positive way by showcasing their work via media uploads or starting a blog and then sharing those posts on Facebook and other social media venues.

Finally, most employers appreciate postings that showcase a life that involves a measure of sports, hobbies and an interest about the world around us.