3 Things You Did Not Know Potential Employers Look At


There is no denying how challenging it can be to find a job. For many jobseekers, the hardest part of the process is the interview. The way a potential employer handles himself or herself during an interview can decide whether or not he or she gets a job. Even the most skilled jobseekers may be denied if they perform poorly on interviews. To complicate matters, the interview process is not just limited to the initial meeting with the interviewer. Thanks to the internet, it is very easy for interviewers to look up information about whoever they are interviewing. Even if a jobseeker does exceptionally well during an interview, the interviewer is still likely to look up additional information after the interview. Listed below are a few unexpected areas that interviews may look up regarding their possible hires.

Social Media

Before the rise of social media, it was much easier for jobseekers to keep their private lives separate from their professional ones. Today, it has never been easier for an employer to look up information regarding a possible hire. Just how deep an employer decides to look can vary depending on the job. In general, the more important the position, the more research goes into any potential hires.

Employers look at a couple of different things when they find their jobseeker’s social media profile. One of the first items they look for is any contradictions with the jobseeker’s resume. Most social media profiles have information on what schools the profile owner attended, as well as his or her most recent jobs. Not all users choose to list this information on their profiles, which is perfectly fine. However, if an employer finds something that directly contradicts what is on a resume, it greatly decreases the chances of that person getting hired.

Employers often look through some of the most recent posts made by the job seeker. Most of the time, they are just looking for anything that might raise a red flag. Any inflammatory statements will not go over well, and depending on the severity, it may keep someone from being hired. On social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, employers often look through photo albums. Anything that comes off as overly unprofessional will ultimately hurt the jobseeker.

For many jobseekers, the thought of disabling their social media is unheard of, even if it is for a job. The best thing for these jobseekers to do is to set their information to “private,” so only friends or family members can see the information. Users can selectively do this with specific items, like setting certain photo albums or posts to “private.”

Even users without social media profiles may have online footprints. Jobseekers are encouraged to put their own names into search engines to see what comes up. The best way to do it is include their names, as well as the towns they reside in, or any previous locations. That way, they do not have to search through pages and pages of other people with the same name just to see if anything relevant surfaces.

Criminal History

It is certainly not unheard of for employers to look up the criminal histories of potential employees, but the internet has revolutionized the process. There is no shortage of websites meant to look up someone’s history, including criminal records. Potential employees with criminal records are put in difficult situations, since their histories make it much harder to find work. Many applications have questions regarding criminal histories. Potential employees may want to avoid answering these questions, but it is better to be as upfront about the information as possible, otherwise it looks like they are trying to hide something from their employers.

Anyone that was previously involved in a crime may also want to search for himself or herself, even if he or she does not technically have a criminal record. Some smaller news sources may get names mixed up and not have anyone to fact check the information. If this happens, the best thing the jobseeker can do is contact the agency to make a correction, or at least make it clear that he or she was not the one committing the crime.

Credit Reports

Like with criminal records, it is much easier for employers to look up information regarding credit reports. Credit reports generally do not have as much impact as social media profiles or criminal histories. Some employers like to look at credit reports to see if their potential employees are significantly in debt, since this may reduce the chance of them trying to steal from the company. Others look at credit reports as a way of gauging the personal responsibility of the jobseeker.

It is a good idea for jobseekers to look up their own credit reports, as it is unfortunately fairly common for at least some of the information to be incorrect. Job seekers with poor credit are advised to avoid looking for any jobs that directly involve financial responsibility, since these are the jobs where credit reports mean the most.