Catch Them Being Good | Jobs In NewYork

Catch Them Being Good


By Shawn McGowan,

With social media, blogging and online content creation/distribution at an all time high, screening of candidates by researching their online identities (for better or worse) has become common practice by many companies and recruiters.

According to Forrester Research, over 41 million U.S. adults fall into the "creator" group of social media users.

Looking for the Positive

With so much public information available on personal blogs and social media profiles, it's easy to see why companies look up their prospective hires online. But don't let the temptation to screen solely for the negative (i.e. embarrassing or incriminating photos, videos, mentions, affiliations, and/or boss/work bashing) overshadow a unique opportunity to gain positive insight into skills and habits that can benefit your company.

Entry level candidates, such as recent college graduates, may have less in the way of real life experience but a wealth of industry knowledge and a winning work ethic.

Here are some things to consider:


Does their blog or profile discuss their industry or chosen profession? Are they knowledgeable and well spoken on the subject? Do they have a lot of readers/comments? Do people "retweet" them on Twitter or quote them in blog posts frequently?

Why these are important:

  • Displays thought leadership, a very important asset for any company
  • Shows that they are learned and passionate about their chosen career path
  • Shows confidence and earned recognition by industry leaders - especially if they are adding to conversations with key influencers

Writing Skills

Are they a proficient writer? Are their posts free of typos and misspellings?

Why these are important:

  • Shows attention to detail
  • Displays professionalism
  • Underscores pride in their work and how it is received


How frequently is their content updated?

Why these are important::

  • Speaks to follow through
  • Shows discipline, prioritization and time management - taking time for writing can be tough, especially when working full-time, having a full course load, and/or attending to family responsibilities


Do they respond promptly and thoughtfully to comments?

Why these are important:

  • Shows CS/PR skills
  • Displays insight into how they might handle workplace conflict
  • Illustrates interpersonal skills


Do they guest blog? Do they have guest writers?

Why these are important:

  • Displays teamwork
  • Shows resourcefulness

There is a lot to be said about a person by their profiles, conversations, content they produce, and the way they represent themselves online. A closer look may be worthwhile when looking for that extra something to add to your company's repertoire.