Suddenly looking for work? Your social media posts could cost you the job

This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

If you suddenly find yourself looking for a job during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s been awhile since you have, a heads up: Nearly all businesses now do background research on job candidates online, and that includes 90% who look up potential employees’ social media profiles.

That can kill a hire. D.C.-based business research firm The Manifest says 79% of those doing social media background checks have rejected a candidate based on what they found.

It is not just blatant turnoffs, such as hate speech, images of excessive partying or illegal activity that can get a resume tossed.

“Inconsistency in how you describe your skills or your experience could potentially alert to an employer that perhaps you are fudging something,” Riley Panko at The Manifest told WTOP.

“Other things include badmouthing a former employer. That is an indication that you are not the right fit for the company’s team,” she said.

Even bad grammar or spelling can be enough to get a candidate rejected.

The Manifest advises that having an online presence is important though. The top places employers look are Google searches, Facebook and LinkedIn. Of employers surveyed, about 80% say a personal website is important when evaluating candidates.

But what should be on a personal website?

“First off is the obvious,” Panko said. “A more in-depth description of your experience and what you have done at your current and past jobs. But it is also a great chance to create a portfolio of your past work, essentially showing records of your past accomplishments in a much more in-depth way than a one to two page resume.”

But a resume is still required, with 72% of employers saying it is very important when evaluating candidates.

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