July 2, 2023

Attention to social networks: what they can say about the candidate

The main question for a candidate: "Who are you on social media? And who are you in real life?"

Why the candidate's social media networks are important for the recruiter

Today, almost everyone is a regular user of social networking sites, and they may tell a lot about a person. Based on the social media accounts of an applicant, an experienced recruiter can compile a complete dossier on this person, having added the puzzle elements missing in the resume and not clarified during the online or offline interview.

Unfortunately, in social networks, the ideal “I” of a person, on which doesn’t always coincide with their real personality, is usually presented. Self-presentation, positioning and Photoshop work wonders, and a person becomes more attractive, more intelligent and more successful than in real life.

Nevertheless, one way or another, users show their everyday life, values and preferences making decisions each time on which photos or videos to publish and making up posts. In addition, according to their interests and preferences, they choose social media characters to follow or add to “friends”. All these online actions reveal users’ real personalities and demonstrate those around the person who is hiding behind the fabulous cover.

Identifying the candidate's characteristics by their avatar

It’s possible to identify someone’s characteristics just by examining the avatar of the profile.

For instance, the recruiter should pay attention to the following details:

  • the avatar is absent. It says about the person’s with-draw behavior, lack of self-confidence, unsociability;
  • the avatar is constantly being updated and a range of selfies is being used non-stop. It indicates several potential problems: the applicant is impermanent in his or her decisions, often unsatisfied with himself or herself, and spends a lot of time on the social networking sites, probably, preferring “Instagram life” to a normal one;
  • evil, shocking photos demonstrating a negative attitude. They immediately signalize that the recruiter is dealing with a so-called “hard case”, a potentially problematic employee. Such a person is currently having personal problems and accumulating negative emotions. They often unleash conflicts.

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Analyzing the candidate's photos and videos in addition to the resume

The content on someone’s pages also allows to make a lot of conclusions about the user.

An Instagram or Facebook account will provide loads of facts about its owner as well as an opportunity to follow the events happening in the account owner’s life.

Analyzing photos and videos, it is possible to reveal plenty of details. For example:

  • if the majority of photos and videos of a user illustrate the person’s endless journeys, it is reasonable to assume that such an employee will be little concentrated on the work and may easily postpone it in favor of a new trip. Such a person will work from a holiday to a holiday but not for the result;
  • if a user prefers to post photos or videos in the surrounding of a crowd where he or she is difficult to identify, it says, on the one hand, about their sociability and feeling comfortable in large groups of people, but, on the other hand, it may signalize that the applicant doesn’t have a strong personality and leadership skills. Therefore, people who are eager to manage and self-confident, and ambitious more often post photos where there are no other people except them. They present themselves as serious and business-like, although they also like to demonstrate their photos together with well-known people;
  • if on the page of the applicant there is the atmosphere of bombast or epatage, then, more probably, this person presents himself or herself the same in real life;
  • if there are numerous sportive activities presented on the candidate’s pages, then sport is a vital part of this person’s life. If the candidate’s pages are full of family events, it means family values are in the first place in this individual’s life. If most photos on the applicant’s pages illustrate his or her visits to clubs and restaurants, then the main place in this applicant's life is taken by entertainment which may significantly influence the potential employee’s work efficiency.

Reading posts carefully — they represent a person's thoughts

Texts created and posted by users let their readers know about the users’ interests, preferences, ways of thinking and making sentences, level of education, and literacy.

The recruiter should pay attention to the following moments:

  • if there are loads of negative statements, severe criticisms and black humor, it assumes that the person, most likely, prefers such a way of communication in everyday life. It may cause a tense in the team while cooperating with such a person at work;
  • if an applicant expresses his or her thoughts in stories or videos with the help of foul language, it may negatively reflect on the image of the company in the future because it is completely possible that the person may use the same language in everyday life, so they can easily use it during important negotiations or mailing;
  • if the candidate presents on his or her pages any points of view or thoughts that don’t match with the policy of the company or are inappropriate for the position the candidate is applying for, then, probably, he is not the right person for the company.

Subscriptions and groups are also important because they provide the recruiter an opportunity to estimate the quality of the content the candidate tends to and to learn about the candidate’s real interests.

What can LinkedIn and Twitter accounts tell about a person

Besides especially popular social networking sites like Instagram and Facebook, there are also less popular ones like LinkedIn or Twitter. If the applicant has accounts there as well, it is useful to look at them, too.

LinkedIn allows to examine the applicant’s extra resume, read through his or her professional publications and look at the list of the people who the applicant follows. In addition, the reviews on the applicant’s pages have quite a big value as they let the recruiter see the opinions of the applicant’s former employers and colleagues or other professionals.

In addition to reviews, it may be useful to pay attention to the highlighted skills of the candidate and their available confirmations by other users. Such confirmations may be absent as LinkedIn pages are seldom actively added, but their presence may be a good advantage for the candidate.

Short posts and comments on the Twitter page of the applicant may let the recruiter identify what situations and info occasions the applicant is interested in, and how he or she expresses their opinion in the compact format. Plus, it is useful to see who the user retwits and who follows.


To sum up, it’s necessary to remember that social sites may tell a lot about a person’s personality and help to create a more or less correct opinion about this person. But the most reliable source of information about each potential employee is a face-to-face interview which can allow the recruiter to observe the behavior of the applicant, to hear his or her vocabulary and to estimate their way to express thoughts and react to the recruiter’s questions.

Therefore, the applicant’s pages on social sites should be used as an extra instrument in the work but not as the main one.

Our recruiters use 30 different channels: all traditional recruiting methods and recruiting with social media instruments.