October 27, 2019
More Employers Than Ever Are Making Hiring Decisions Based On Applicants' Social Media History

Your social media history could be the deciding factor in whether or not you get a job that you've applied for, Yahoo! Money reports. That's because more employers than ever are checking applicants' social media history before making a job offer, and indeed, some applicants are even turning to professional help to clean up their social media footprints.

Seventy percent of hiring managers admitted in a recent survey that they do, indeed, look over a job applicant's social media profile when considering a candidate. What's more, three in five admitted that they've turned down an applicant because they didn't like what they saw in the candidate's history.

What Are Employers Looking For?

According to a 2018 Business News Daily report, there are a few red flags that can pop up in your social media history that could reflect poorly on you as a job candidate.

Some of the biggest and brightest red flags include boasts about drug use or criminal behavior; posts that reveal bigotry; or "inappropriate" photos or videos.

At least one person has found out the hard way that even the most seemingly anodyne of social media posts can cost you a job. As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, earlier this month, a Texas woman was denied a job because of photos on her Instagram account that rubbed her would-be employer the wrong way.

The photos on Emily Clow's Instagram page were not unlike those of any other woman her age: lots of pictures of her partying at a pool here, enjoying a drink there, dressed in bikinis in many of them. Her would-be employer, Kickass Masterminds, posted an Instagram post of its own shaming the job applicant for the photos. Clow later went to the media with her story, and the company wound up shutting down its entire online presence, including its website and social media accounts.

a handshake, visually representing someone being offered a job
Pixabay | Tumisu

Speaking Of Erasing Your Social Media Accounts...

Don't do it. Having no social media presence is almost as bad as having a social media presence that raises red flags, says a business consultant.

So what's a job-seeker to do? As it turns out, many are hiring professionals to clean up their social media footprint for them. Reputation Management, as it's called in the industry, is a real thing, and the process not only puts the best spin on your social media presence, it also removes negative information about you from the internet -- to the extent that it's possible, anyway.

"[Your] online presence is now your resume," said Patrick Ambron, CEO of BrandYourself, a reputation management company.

The process has produced some tangible results. One woman was able to get her reputation cleaned up even though she'd been victimized by revenge porn. Another man shared a name with a drug dealer, and even though he bore no relation to the dealer, the crook's name was the first result when hiring managers searched the applicant's name.

If you're wondering about the cost, a do-it-yourself kit can run you between $20 and $100. If your internet presence is more complicated, like you've been a victim of revenge porn or you share a name with a drug dealer, the process can cost upwards of $3,000.