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How Social Media Changed Pre-employment Checks

Growing up, my mother always spoke about the importance of being on my best behavior and carrying myself well in public. She’d often say things like, “you never know who’s watching you.” This is something that stuck with me. It drilled in me the importance of a positive public presentation. It taught me about reputation and the influence it can have.

Today, it is more important than ever that professionals understand this principle. Your public presentation directly affects your ability to build successful relationships and move forward in your career. With the introduction of social media, anyone can look you up at any time, so the pressure is on. Professionals need to make sure they’re putting on a good face in person and online.

Background checks and reference checks have been long-standing parts of the hiring process. If you’re interviewing with an established organization, you will be asked to consent to a background check which digs into your address, criminal, employment and educational history typically going back 7-10 years. You will also be asked to provide 2 or 3 professional references. In today’s social media driven culture, things have changed dramatically. We all now live in an open, globally connected community where one can instantly connect with anyone from their favorite celebrity to a total stranger half way around the world. This also gives recruiters and potential employers a new level of access to you.

While formally consenting to background checks is still a part of the process, there is nothing stopping someone from looking you up and learning more about you via Google or social media.

Before you’re invited to interview, a recruiter may have already reviewed your profile or connected with your old boss on LinkedIn to get a better idea of who you really are professionally. They may have already looked you up on Google just to see what comes back. I remember one CEO in particular who, before reviewing any resumes that came his way, would always ask, “Did we Google this person? Anything pop up?” In business, it is understood that time = money and no one wants to invest their time in a candidate only to be disappointed and feel as though they’ve wasted their time.

What can you do about this? A lot.

You can take responsibility for your image on and off social media. Manage your reputation by focusing on your relationships and marketing your strengths through your LinkedIn profile. Request recommendations. Google yourself. Know what’s out there about you so there are no surprises.

Hi, my name is Pamela Shand and I want the best for you in your career. I started Offer Stage Consulting to show job seekers how to overcome the most annoying challenges and get where they want to be in their careers. It is possible to actually be happy at work!

Let me show you how.

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