5 Things Employers Never Want to Learn About Candidates Online

| 3 min read

These days it’s easy to find out a lot about a person online through professional sites, blog posts and articles, or social media. As hiring managers use Google to get more information about candidates applying to their organizations, they can sometimes find out things they didn’t want to know about those applicants.

Here are some things hiring managers don’t want to find out about any of their job candidates online.

Their Bad Behaviors

Whether it comes from a candidate’s social media profile or some other source — such online police reports or publications — bad decisions have a way of getting out, says Hank Boyer of Boyer Management. He says some examples include:

● Pictures and comments that demonstrate a candidate has “a substance abuse lifestyle.”
● Tweets, comments and other posts that demonstrate a candidate is racist.
● Learning a candidate was convicted — or even just arrested — for prostitution, theft, drugs, drunk and disorderly, violence, and so on from online news sources and police blotters.

If any of these things happened a long time ago and you’ve since moved on, it might not necessarily wreck your chances of getting hired, but it’s an important reminder to make an effort to keep past mistakes in the past.

Their Unprofessional or Socially Objectionable Opinions

It can be hard to avoid engaging in political debates or discussing the hot-button issues of the day online, but if you do, make sure your opinions aren’t connected to your job search. This can include things such as “political rants that go on endlessly, or that you are a member of the Nazi party or the Ku Klux Klan,” says Joni Daniels of Daniels & Associates. When weeding out potential candidates, hiring managers are looking for reasons to ignore your resume, and those are some big ones.

Their Hard Feelings

Your words have a way of coming back to haunt you. If a candidate badmouths former employers, co-workers or clients online, that can get back to future employers, Boyer says. This can include “disparaging comments made in employer reviews or tweets that speak negatively about co-workers or employers,” Boyer says. If you feel like you absolutely must dish about a former employer, find a way to do so anonymously.

Their Private Lives

Even if your private life isn’t full of hijinks, it’s just good sense to keep your personal and professional profiles separate. Activities and interests you have aren’t relevant to a hiring manager unless they have something to do with the job you’re interested in, says Robin Dopp of Slam Dunk Resumes. “Keep much of your private life private, initially at least!”

Their Birthday Suit

What’s one thing absolutely no hiring manager wants to learn about you online? “What you look like without clothing,” Daniels says.

Jide Otoki