DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

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11 things you shouldn’t put on social media if you want a new job

Social Media And DBS Checks: What Shows Up?

LinkedIn is the social platform you use to highlight your professional skills, experience and success stories; there’s a reason recruiters utilise LinkedIn as a way to connect with individuals who may be interested in a vacancy. Therefore, the things you post on this specific platform are most likely very different from interacting with other social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.

With that said, it’s safe to assume that if a hiring manager is going to snoop through your social media profile, it will be your LinkedIn account, right?


In this blog post, we’ll discuss what shows up on social media when someone does a background check. We’ll also provide tips on how to clean up your social media profiles before applying for jobs or renting an apartment.

How Does Your Social Media Affect Your Next Job?

What you post online can directly affect your chances of success when applying for a new job, particularly if the person or people leading the interview actively check your profiles before meeting you.

If you don’t want social media to ruin your chances of job success, refrain from posting about the following, which, according to our survey, puts hiring managers off candidates:


  • Drug use – according to 58% of those surveyed
  • Racist comments – according to 57% of those surveyed
  • Sexist or homophobic comments – according to 52% of those surveyed
  • Negative posts regarding previous employers – according to 50% of those surveyed
  • Swearing – according to 37% of those surveyed
  • Images of, or references to alcohol consumption – according to 36% of those surveyed
  • Openly discussing your dating or sex life – according to 31% of those surveyed
  • Poor spelling and grammar in your posts – according to 23% of those surveyed
  • Engaging in political debates – according to 22% of those surveyed
  • Promoting a side hustle – according to 13% of those surveyed
  • Inactive accounts – according to 2% of those surveyed

Additionally, you can post whatever you like on social media so long as it is within the platform’s guidelines and in line with social media law. However, if you engage in threatening, incredibly offensive or defamatory messages or behaviour, you may find yourself convicted of a crime.

Depending on the nature of your online behaviour, a DBS check may reveal social media convictions. An employer is well within their rights to renege on a job offer based on the information surfaced via a DBS check.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

What Social Media Platforms Do Hiring Managers Look At?

LinkedIn is only the second most popular social media platform used by hiring managers as part of a recruitment drive. Our recent survey revealed that Facebook is the most popular choice, with 79% of those surveyed using it as part of the hiring process.

LinkedIn was the next most popular option, used by 51% of hiring managers we spoke with. Twitter came in third with 50%, followed by Instagram being used by 44% of those surveyed. Tik Tok was the least popular option, used by only 17% of our respondents.

How Many Employers Check Social Media Before Hiring?

We surveyed 1,005 UK-based recruitment managers, and just shy of half of them (48%) stated that they carry out social media checks on candidates when hiring. Of those surveyed, male respondents (55%) were more likely to take this route than female hiring managers (43%).

Does Social Media Conduct Affect DBS Outcomes?

Most people who use the internet will also be active across a variety of social media accounts. Social media sites and apps offer a convenient and efficient way of keeping in touch with your loved ones, finding out more about celebrities and even raising awareness of your brand or business.

However, there’s always the potential for online conversations to lead to Twitter wars or escalate to other forms of social media conflicts. Whilst social media disagreements happen every day, in rare cases, they can lead to the police becoming involved and there have even been cases of people obtaining a criminal record as a result of their social media conduct.

If you’re worried about whether social media disputes will appear on your DBS check, take a look at the below information regarding when it might be a contributing factor to the outcome of your DBS check.

DBS and social media check

The information shared in a DBS check depends on which of the three types of DBS checks is carried out.

In most cases, employers will only be permitted to obtain a basic check on their prospective employees. When a basic DBS check is requested, only current and unspent convictions will be included. Depending on how old you are at the time of the social media activity in question and the nature of the punishment issued by the court, an offensive Tweet may stay on your record for just six months.

If, however, a standard or enhanced DBS check is needed, the conviction could stay on your record for significantly longer. With either of these categories of DBS checks, the DBS are able to disclose previous convictions provided they have a legitimate reason to believe they are relevant to the role in question.

So, whether they will reveal information concerning offensive social media messages depends upon the nature of the content shared over the platform and its potential relevance to the job the applicant wishes to be considered for. If information is shared with your prospective employer and they are not familiar with social media conduct, it may also require an explanation.

It’s therefore advisable to treat convictions relating to social media like you would any other offence: be upfront with any potential future employers at the beginning and use the rest of the recruitment process to show them how you’ve changed and grown as a person. This way, they should at least be reassured that you will not behave in the same manner again.

What Is Social Media Law In The UK?

The social media laws in the UK have been clarified in recent years, to ensure clear parameters are set regarding the types of social media behaviour which will be deemed unlawful. For example, if an individual is found to have shown hostility towards another person based on protected characteristics, such as their gender identity, religion, disability or sexual orientation, they will be in breach of Sections 145 and 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Malicious Communications Act 1988

Although this legislation was established before the first social media post was made public, the Malicious Communications Act 1988 still contains useful information, some of which can be applied to scenarios involving heated conversations over social media.

Despite predating social media platforms, the Act can still be used to prosecute individuals who send threatening, incredibly offensive or slanderous messages. In extreme cases, people may be sent to prison for sending such messages. However, far more often than not, the court will either issue a fine or some form of community service.

Is A Social Media Background Check Legal?

It is legal for hiring managers to scour social media profiles during a recruitment drive; however, it must be done cautiously. If you feel in any way discriminated against, you may have a case against them.

What Are Some Social Media Guidelines To Follow When Applying For Jobs?

In addition to refraining from the activities listed above, we also recommend setting your social profiles to private. That way, unless a potential employer sends a friend request, it will be difficult for them to find the information they are looking for.

We also recommend going through your profile and deleting anything that you think could cause concern if a potential employer sees it. Remember that just because you have deleted a picture or post doesn’t mean it disappears entirely. They may still be found, so erring on the side of caution and not posting at all is your best option.

Finally, before posting or uploading any images or videos, ask yourself how you would feel if your current boss saw this. If you don’t think they would react well, chances are a future employer wouldn’t respond well either.

Care Check processes more than 130,000 DBS checks annually across a wide variety of sectors. For further guidance regarding DBS checks and how to arrange them for your prospective employees, please contact us today.

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