/ Asked by Charlotte
I'm writing a thesis about on-line screening of applicants and was wondering how companies check your social media profiles besides just going through the internet and look at public information. Do they pay Facebook/other companies for full access to profiles, use of certain (illegal) software...?
Answered by Sharon, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, December 2, 2013
Federal contractors are prohibited from using social media to evaluate candidates - so it takes it out of our equation. Non contractors can look at social media but I am not aware of any effort to pay for greater access. The best advice I can give you with social media is use Linked In professionally. Keep your Facebook open for personal use only. The world has become transparent and always keep that in mind.
Answered by Dawn, Hiring Expert at Daikin Applied, on Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Sharon is correct, we cannot legally use information obtained from social media to make a hiring determination.  I recommend keeping all social media including LinkedIn, professionally branded at all times.
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, December 20, 2013
Typically, companies do not check your social media profiles when hiring someone.  It is a gray area legally, but mostly because companies simply do not have the time to do this.  Most companies do work with third parties to conduct pre-employment background checks in which a U.S. candidate's criminal background is checked, education and previous employment are verified, etc. 
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