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Asked by chance on October 5, 2016

When searching through potential candidate's social media sites, what are employers specifically looking for? Other than the obvious negatives (pictures/comments/posts of excessive drinking and immaturity), what are some positives and negatives an employer looks for through these searches?

Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on October 7, 2016

For the most part, employers are not formally checking personal social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as this can lead to legal slippery slope around invasion of privacy and discrimination.  They may check professional social media sites like LinkedIn, but that is more to verify that your work history is accurate, etc.  If a recruiter or hiring manager does, on their own, check out your personal social media sites, they are typically scanning for anything that would speak to your character like inappropriate behavior or posting negative things about previous employers and co-workers.  As long as your social media profile does not contradict the way you present yourself to a potential employer, you should have no worries.

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on October 17, 2016

Hi there!  Great question! AT&T recruiters do not actively search out and review candidates social media pages. However, there may be some employers who do, so having a reputable social presence is something to always strive for.

I like to use the news test...would I be badly represented if this was the front page story on the news?  If that would be bad for  me, why is it splashed all over my social media identity?  And vice versa, are the awesome things about me represented in my social spaces? My interests, volunteerism, community and uniqueness well represented? 

Just a couple of things to think about while you work on developing your personal brand!  Best of luck!

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Answered by Cory, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on January 19, 2017

Hi there! Great question. You're right about the negatives they are looking for, so make sure none of those are present! They're also looking for professionalism, community involvement, possible other activities that you participate in outside of the ones listed on your resume. For example, past jobs, clubs, sports, etc. On LinkedIn, they can see who you are connected to, endorsements, and recommendations which can help them learn more about you. 

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