on the cellphone

We see it regularly in the news — whether it is Joy Reid of MSNBC, Guardians of Galaxy Director James Gunn, or New York Times Editorial Board Member Sarah Jeong — people can be called on to explain prior social media posts. In fact, it is quite common for companies to review online social media histories prior to making employment decisions.

In most instances, these social media histories are quickly available for a potential employer’s review. A 2017 survey of over 2,300 hiring manages and human resource officers revealed what has been long suspected — potential employers are reviewing applicant’s social media histories. And this was up from 60% of employers in 2016.

More importantly, one-third of all employers confirmed uncovered comments on social media informed decisions to decline the applicant. Consultants/software companies have developed algorithm to sift through applicants or employees public social media posts.

While many employers have developed policies on whether to ask for drug testing or criminal record checks in conjunction with employment applications, few employers have written, consistent guidelines on social media. Employment advisers recommend applicants not call attention to their negative social media histories, but rather, start contributing to social media in a healthy and appropriate way.

It is a new world — and job seekers need to be mindful of social media posting.

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