How Social Media Can Cost You the Job

According to a 2017 Career Builder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring. For many, sharing every life detail and expressing every opinion publicly has become a habit (a bad one, at that). It would be foolish not to scope out how potential employees present themselves to the public.

The statistic above is not one to be ignored. Before starting your job search, take some time to clean up your social media profiles and start being more mindful of what you post and share. Here are some social media “no-no’s” that can ruin your chances of landing that new job.

  1. DO NOT Bash previous employers/coworkers/customers
  2. Why would a company want to hire you if you spoke negatively on a public platform about a previous employer? Employers can’t help but think about what you would say about them if they were to hire you. This also goes for people you worked with or customers you dealt with while on the job. If you need to rant about work, text a friend.

  3. DO NOT Flaunt your bad work ethic
  4. You may not realize it, but posting selfies behind your desk is just as bad as blatantly tweeting that you don’t feel like working. This tells future employers that you don’t take your job seriously so be careful what you post during work hours.

  5. DO NOT Use bad grammar/spelling
  6. Using common online shorthand is one thing, but other grammar and spelling mistakes make you appear careless. Treat your social media posts as you would a work email, as everything you write in your personal time can come back to hurt you professionally.

  7. DO NOT Share political/racist/religious views
  8. Everyone has the right to their opinion on any topic. However, if you speak so strongly about a topic on social media, chances are you are probably going to talk about those views into the workplace as well. This is a red flag to many employers as it could cause conflict in the workplace. Share and post tastefully. Be mindful that even posts or tweets that you “like” can also be traced back to you.

  9. DO NOT Post boozy/illegal activity
  10. Before you start searching for a new job, a social media clean up is necessary. Time to call your college roommate and ask them to delete old, wild photographs you appear in. This goes for recent photos as well. It might get a laugh or two, but it’s not worth losing a job offer.

  11. DO NOT Burn the evidence
  12. If you are guilty of some of the above, it can be tempting to delete all of your social media accounts before starting your job search. However, doing so can also appear a bit fishy to future employers. They want to be able to see how you present yourself and get a small glimpse of your personality. Being unsearchable may appear that you are hiding something. The alternative and smarter option would be to review your privacy settings. Make sure only your friends can see what you want kept private.

Social media has become a blinding addiction. Of course you wouldn’t want your future employer seeing any of the things mentioned above. However, with the current obsession of going “viral” and posting for “likes” as a way to boost one’s confidence, we tend to forget that people are watching. Next time you want to share a political article on Facebook or post a desk selfie on Instagram, think about your future and your career.