Will Employers Look You Up Online Before Hiring You?


Apart from checking your references and confirming previous places of employment, it’s highly likely a potential employer will also look you up online.

They’ll most likely start with any social media or business affiliate sites. Extra suspicious potential employers may even put your details into a free people finder site to find out more.

Read on to find out why they do this, what they’re looking for, and how to clean up your online presence.

What They’re Looking For

Before deciding who to invite for an interview, a potential employer may want to determine the person’s character. A lot can be learned about people through their online presence.

Incriminating photos or posts that suggest poor behavior or judgment may paint you in a harsh light or hint that you’re not a team player. Continual posts about excessive alcohol or drug consumption or partying may indicate you could call in sick a lot. 

It’s easy to make a quick judgment about someone based on their online presence, so do what you can to avoid this happening to you.

Where They Look

Social media, business networks, and people finder sites are the most popular ways for a potential employer to learn more about you.

Social Media

Commonly, social media is where they’ll begin. Most active people on these platforms will have a load of data available about them where others can form quick opinions.

Pages and pages of you in various states of undress might cause them to think you like a lot of attention. Posts and rants that are racist, sexist, or bigoted may indicate that you’re not good with people, a definite red flag for many employers.

Before posting anything online, ask yourself, ‘Would a future employer like this?’ If the answer is no, don’t post it.

Business Networks

If you have a business profile on a site like LinkedIn, be 100% sure that the data matches your CV. They’re looking for truth and transparency, and if there are discrepancies,  that could cast a shadow over your credibility.

People Finder Sites

Data brokers or people finder sites are an excellent resource to check if a person has any criminal activity in their past. They collect data from all over the internet, including public and court records. 

If you’ve ever been to court or were charged with a criminal offense, be upfront about it. It’ll look like you’re hiding things if they find out about it online.

How To Clean Up Your Online Presence

Before applying for a new job, take a good look at your online presence and confirm it highlights you in the best possible way.

Google Yourself

If you’ve never done a Google search on yourself, now is the time. People often get surprised by what information about them is online. If something unexpected pops up, contact the site and ask for it to be corrected or removed.

Anything that comes up that you’ve posted yourself can be easily removed or amended; just be sure it hasn’t been shared.

Ask a Friend

It’s often difficult to be unbiased toward yourself. Tell a good friend your purpose and ask them to go through your online profiles as if they were an employer. They may suggest you change or remove something that you initially considered appropriate. Trust them!

Potential Employers Are Online

Being invited for an interview is a privilege many people don’t experience, which could be due to their online presence.

After being shortlisted based on education and experience, an employer may want to get a sense of the type of person you are. That way, they’ll know whether you fit into their team.

Personal posts suggesting poor behavior, attitude, or decisions, may be enough for them not to want to meet with you. Discrepancies between your CV and your professional online presence could show that you’re hiding things.

These days, any public or court records are available to search online. Be upfront and honest about anything in your past. It’s too late if they discover it after the fact.

Spend time cleaning up your online presence, and you’ll put yourself at the front of the pack for an interview and potential employment.