On Social Media Background Checks

I’ve been reading a lot about background checks lately (don’t ask why). I just realized that in some of the guest blogs I’ve done about writing and blogging, I’ve mentioned and warned about careless use of social media and how it may affect potential clients/employers. Come to think of it, it generally can affect most of us and our credibility.


What skeletons have you been hiding in your closet?

You never know who’s really looking at information and images you share publicly. Lately, while social media has helped personalities boost their reputation and following, some have actually ruined theirs by being absolutely careless, if not clueless. Others have lost jobs or opportunities this way. Meanwhile, you just never know anymore when your picture is ever going to end up as a meme, which can be fun at times, but as we all know, they can also be often downright insulting, and it’s suddenly for all the world to see, laugh at and make fun of.

But going back to jobs and opportunities (at what, that depends on the situation), it is now a reality that employers — and clients — may perform background checks to see what employing you can possibly bring to their company, especially what can possibly jeopardize their credibility and reputation due to hiring you. It’s all for prevention, you see, and very understandable.

Their HR people may do these themselves or they will hire other companies that will do legitimate background checks for them. The thing is, employee screening has now gone from coming up with the usual reports that may include your  educational background, court records, credit records, etcetera, to them checking out your personal blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts and activities. What they may see or read maybe the end of your chance to be hired; it may even spell termination if you are currently employed by them.

This is all one big issue. Is it legal? How is it legal? Isn’t that an invasion of privacy? How private is private? But if it’s public, how can that be an invasion of privacy? Do you have to share your login details? Would “shoulder-surfing” be okay?

So many things to consider here, folks. So let me share to you two links (they’re not written by me, BTW), just to share information. I hope you find them helpful as not just an employee but an employer. Read on 🙂

Social Media Background Checks: Where to Draw the Ethical Line

The Accuracy of Social Media