Most companies and recruiters seek to hire top, trustworthy talent and retain them for years to come. As more people compete for limited positions, the pressure on company recruiters to find and hire the best talent surmounts. However, an online search is one of the first tactics a recruiter may use to learn more about you, even before extending an interview. The Harvard Business Review states that more than 75% of employers actively research candidates online, and more than 70% have decided not to hire a candidate based on what they’ve found. Consider these five areas that recruiters focus on when they explore you online.
1. Social Media Profiles
Many recruiters seek information from potential candidates by scanning the internet to find and study their social media profiles. By using this tactic, they are able to learn what social media sites you are on, what your interests are, and how you conduct yourself via social media. It is becoming critically important for employees to be well-behaved online because their actions, whether on or off the clock, can impact the company and the quality of its brand.
What you say about yourself on social media also tell recruiters how you think, and even what you may do or say when angry. The same social media posts that are cool to all of your friends and family can be alarming to a recruiter who is seeking someone that reflects the core values of the company brand.
Not only are they paying attention to what you are saying, but they are also reading what others are saying about you! What is true about social media and many popular websites is that there is a chronological log of everything that you have ever posted. A recruiter who is seriously looking for information may scroll through years of posts just to gain additional insight into your character. A single, immature post or picture that you posted online years ago can sabotage your chances for scoring a job today, so take the time to erase old posts and privatise your profiles whenever possible.
2. Information on Your Background
More and more companies are deciding to perform background checks on potential employees of the company. CNN states that background reports may check for:
- criminal records
- sex offenses
- judgments and bankruptcies
- drug test results
- income history
- your credit score.
Although an official background check can be expensive, looking into court records online and other public documents can be executed for free with a savvy online search. Performing an unofficial background check online can help most recruiters find the information that they need to know before they invest any more time in you, without your consent. A prior recipient of notable disciplinary action can also weigh heavily against the candidate in question. Some recruiters are seeking to eliminate candidates with traces of former criminal activity to make their jobs easier and excavate the finest talent in a growing pool of applicants. If you have a prior criminal record, check if your record can be expunged to start with a clean slate.
No recruiter wants to hire someone who is unprofessional or has a bad reputation. Searching online for your interactions with others on social media, popular websites, shopping profiles, and even gaming sites, is something that more recruiters are doing every single day. Immature candidates need not apply to positions with reputable companies with powerful brands. If you can be found engaging in bitter, online arguments, leaving rude comments, or acting unprofessionally in any format, it can quickly destroy your opportunity of getting hired with top-level companies. Don’t leave your online reputation to chance; who you are offline is not necessarily reflected online. Use the internet instead to establish credibility in areas of your professional interests to build an online reputation that you can be proud of.
4. Engagement with Former Employers
Recruiters are looking for the scoop concerning you and your former bosses. It is their mission to find excellent candidates and single out troublesome individuals before they join the payroll. Although most jobs will review the references you include, they may also seek insider information from those you did not leave contact information for. Thanks to modern technology, it is easier than ever to make connections online to investigate candidates. With a simple email to your former boss, a recruiter can learn whatever they need to know about your prior work performance and personality.
Other recruiters look for clues on social media to determine how you acted with former employers, and what type of attitude you have towards work in general. If you are looking for a job, beware of posting anything negative about your former bosses or workplace on social media pages, even if the conflict was years ago. If you spot something that could be misinterpreted or is negative in nature, delete it immediately.
Another interesting technique that recruiters use is to determine whether or not your resume or cover letter is original. If a recruiter can copy and paste any part of your resume into a search engine or Copyscape and it comes up on another website, it is a signal to them that you did not take much time or effort to apply for the job. Remember, recruiters are looking for the most compatible candidates that go above and beyond the baseline to make a good impression. It is easy for anyone to grab a resume or cover letter template online, and then copy and paste some words into it. Recruiters pay strong attention to candidates who submit unique cover letters and CV’s, and these individuals are often rewarded by moving into the next phase of the recruitment process by interview.
More employers than ever are using data analysis to investigate your digital footprint, and these tools make the employment screening process faster. If a recruiter can discover any information about you that is overly negative, it gives them an major reason to eliminate you from the list. Don’t allow yourself to lose out on a precious job opportunity simply because you are not paying attention to your online presence. In an increasingly technologically-dependent world of interconnectivity, it is crucial to monitor yourself online and reduce or eliminate anything that may reflect on you negatively. Do not neglect your presence online, for your next job may depend on it. Manage your online presence instead to enhance your chances for employment.
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5 Things Recruiters Are Looking For When They Search You Online