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What You Can Find Out With a Quick Social Media Search

Think your social media profile is just there to share good times with your friends?

Think again. The truth is that 70% of employers “cyber-vet” potential employees through a social media search. Interestingly, more than half of them admit that they’ve decided not to hire someone based on what they found.

Are you curious about vetting a potential employee? Or maybe you’re interested in getting to know someone better personally or professionally. Either way, here are three things you can learn by searching online.

  1. Current Online Presence

This may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed by how many people have no online presence at all. It’s true that 72% of Americans use some form of social media — but that means there’s 28% who don’t.

While the decision of whether to use social media is a personal one, it can be a turn-off to employers if they can’t find someone online. This is especially true if the individual claims to be an expert in marketing, communication, or web development.

If an employer is searching LinkedIn and can’t find a professional profile for an applicant, they’ll likely skip right over to the next one. The same goes for a profile that “exists” but hasn’t been updated in recent years.

  1. Professional Persona

No, employers aren’t expecting every photo you post to include you in a suit and tie sitting at a desk. However, if you’ve listed your qualifications for a position, there should be something on your social media accounts to support your claims.

For example, are you trying to get a job at a veterinary clinic? Your “love of animals” should be evident when the vet starts searching Facebook to see your photos and interests.

The way you use social media also says a lot about how skilled, sociable, creative, and tech-savvy you are. If you claim to be “friendly and great with people” but you only have six followers, that sends a mixed message.

On that note, did you know you can find out if an account has fake followers when searching for people on Instagram? This could be another red flag to a potential employer or business partner, so be sure to foster actual relationships on your social media channels.

  1. Other Red Flags

We’re not saying you can’t post a picture of your vacation in Cabo, but you should consider the way your posts reflect on you as an individual. If an employer starts searching Instagram and sees nothing but photos of you in a bikini drinking tequila shots, what kind of message does that send?

The same goes for:

  • Inappropriate or provocative photos and videos
  • Posts that include heavy drinking or using drugs
  • Discriminatory comments about race, religion, gender, or previous employers
  • Poor grammar, spelling, or communication skills

Like everything else in life, balance is the key. A social media search should reveal your interests and qualifications without going to extremes either way.

What Will Your Social Media Search Reveal?

Employers perform a social media search to get a better idea of potential candidates. Searching online is also common for anyone who wants to learn more about a potential business partner or romantic partner.

Remember, this goes both ways, so be mindful of what you share on your social media profiles!

When you’re finished searching Twitter or searching Instagram, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more tech-related articles like this one.


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