We have all heard that potential employers are going to be looking for us on social media. Some 44% of employers surveyed said that they had hired a candidate through social media. But why do they do it? What is it that companies want to see about our private life activities before making a professional assessment of us?

Besides LinkedIn, recruiters use other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to screen candidates not just to form a better understanding of your overall personality, but also to assess your cultural fit. According to Workopolis, these are the three traits that impress recruiters on social media platforms:

More than half of hiring managers (51%) say that they’re looking to see if the candidate will be a good fit with the corporate culture.

Think about it, your Facebook profile is a far more accurate portrait of what you’re really like than an employer could get from a screening questionnaire. In a questionnaire – you can always give the answers that you think an employer wants to hear. On Facebook your friends would call you out for ‘posing’ as something you’re not.

45% are researching potential hires on social media to find out more about that candidate’s qualifications. If you’ve mentioned your communication skills – are these supported by your online activity? What do you post or tweet about? Are you articulate, intelligent, and friendly, or are you argumentative, belligerent, and foul-mouthed? Most importantly, employers want to see if the information you’ve listed about your education, experience and previous jobs matches up with what you listed in your resume.

Almost as many, 44% of hiring managers want to see if a candidate is creative. How you choose to use the latest networking tools and technologies can say a lot about how social, savvy and skilled you are. Employers will be looking to see how innovative and original you are in what you do online. Of course, the unconventionality should not extend to inappropriate and wayward behaviour. 83% of employers say they are turned off by references about using illegal drugs.

What your parents would not want to see on your Instagram profile, neither would prospective employers and recruiters.

This post was originally published on Workopolis.com in May 2015. TheYoungProfessionalGroup.com takes no credit for the work of the author.

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