As far as I know in my career I have skipped out on this but one could easily guess that this will be as common as any other pre-employment background check. This new thing I am talking about is the Social Media Background checks.
If you are reading this I am guessing it is safe to bet you have some other form of social media. When you apply for a job you most likely agree to a background check and your potential future employer goes out and hires a firm like Social Intelligence and then they go out and scour the internet for all the good and bad things you have done for the past seven years. Then it assembles a report. These reports include professional honors, charitable work, and they include negative information that meets specific criteria: online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.
If you are giving high fives at a cross burning on a public site out there, well the career prospects may have just dwindled a bit. Is it right, well that depends on how you look at it? You can still perform at a high level and have a private life as well, but to the company you might look like more of a liability with all those partying, or scantily clad pictures you have online. A company will always look out for themselves, so remember you look like a liability to them. Now the only real problem is how do they know that they have the correct person?
These social media background checks have been approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) so you can bet it will be adopted by more and more employers in the near future. Now the check is little more than a rundown of Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, Twitter, Craigslist, blogs, wikis, and others in search of dirt, but if you ever want to find a job you may want to lock down the privacy settings on your social media accounts. That means really paying attention to all those times that Facebook has changed their privacy settings as it could mean that you have just defaulted back to having everything public. Plus if you really are dumb enough to have pictures of videos of yourself doing illegal things on your profile well go delete them now. That is just becomes evidence.
What do you think should a company disqualify you for something that could not even have any effect on your job performance?
Sort of makes you want to make sure you have everything locked down.