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Do Jobs Really Check You Out on the Internet?

by Rebecca Gilbert, studioD

While job hunting, many people refresh their resume, get a new suit and generally present an image of an employee that impresses a company. But, many people forget the Internet provides information to recruiters doing a background check. With social media being a prevalent part of so many people's lives, it's easy to forget the importance of securing potentially incriminating information. According to NOLO, nearly 50 percent of employers check out your Internet presence while researching potential candidates.

Where Jobs Check

A background check online encompasses any public information you post to the Internet. This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs, and any other public source of information. A savvy researcher may even find information you thought was private just because you used a different username. Public records searches are also available online, as well as credit check information. Knowing an employer checks these online sites gives you a chance to change or delete information you prefer to remain private.

What Jobs Check

A potential hiring company runs an Internet search based on the information you provided during the application and interview process. Your resume provides jobs and dates that an online search validates. Colleges provide degree and certification verification, as well as alumni information. In some fields, such as web design, a recruiter may go look for your name in reference to the creation of any web pages listed on your resume. Social media provides information about your personality and beliefs.

Social Media Perils

Social media adds an extra layer of public information available to employers looking into a potential candidate's background. If there are pictures or posts of a negative or irresponsible nature, it reflects this to the employer. On the flip side, an employer must ensure they aren't using protected information, such as religion, disabilities or sexual orientation in making their hiring decisions. The information used must follow the laws that protect job seekers from discrimination.

Manage Your Presence

While the Internet stores information indefinitely, updating and supplying fresh information may make harmful information less prominent. Do an Internet search of your name and identifying information to see what an employer may see. Learn the privacy settings on social media sites and make the necessary changes. A useful piece of advice when managing your online presence is not to write it down if you want it kept private.

About the Author

Rebecca Gilbert began writing and transcribing in 2003. In 2007, she started a resume-writing company. She earned an associate degree in sociology from Pima College and a bachelor's degree in communications at University of Wisconsin. Gilbert also does tech support for a major technology company and volunteers locally teaching job-seeking skills.

Photo Credits

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