Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Would You Pass a Social Media Background Check?

As we all are aware, when applying for a job they usually ask for a cover letter, resume, background check, and your...Facebook status?

As a college student, it is very important that we keep certain parts of our lives private from the very public World Wide Web. A recent CNN blog post shows an interview with Max Drucker, CEO of Social Intelligence, a company hired to screen the Internet for any red flags that a potential hire could have. They specifically look for language that is used on social media sites and only access public information. Drucker explains that things that employers will take into consideration when utilizing his company are any signs of racist remarks, illegal activity such as drug use, violence and sexually explicit pictures and videos.

While you may think it is cool to show your social media network pictures of what you did this weekend, employers will not look at it favorably when considering you for a job. If you think you are at risk of having inappropriate things on the Internet, here are some things you can do to control what can be searched.

  • If you have any page that has pictures that could be considered appropriate, delete them. Save them somewhere else so that they can't harm you when it really counts.
  • Create a blog. This will help you to avoid damaging search results since your posts will most likely land at the top of a search engine's results.
  • If you're not in touch with your creative side, consider making a personal web page displaying your resume, a portfolio, press mentions, awards, etc. It will get noticed over other sites that may be below it in a search.
Before you write off your social media sites as appropriate, just remember that while these sites do have privacy settings, more and more companies are finding ways around them, in order to screen the best possible candidates for their positions. Especially in the current economic state, it is important to take all things into consideration when making yourself the best potential hire possible. If you wouldn't want an employer to see it, it should not be on the Internet. Period.

To see the full CNN interview click here.


1 comment:

kev said...

I would definitely pass a social media background check but I have so many friends that wouldn't because they like to share everything about them and their personality on sites like Facebook or MySpace. This is very dangerous because and employer for example can take you off from his list just for a stupid comment you made and that is not OK from his point of view.
We should be very careful on these sites.