Social media is all about having fun, posting your thoughts and interacting with friends—right? You probably started out your social media career on MySpace or Facebook taking quizzes, tagging friends in photos and playing games.
But now, social media is dominant, and everyone can see your every move. It’s the perfect way to “creep” on an applicant before someone offers an interview.
Even future employers.
The job search is hard enough with updating your resume, filling out box after box of questions and coming up with unique cover letters. Don’t make it harder to hire you by posting pictures of last Saturday’s party on Instagram.
I interviewed three of my supervisors at work, Chelsea Kumbera, Kourtney Arnold and Allison Theulen, to discover what the worst things someone could do on social media while in the job market. Here were the ones that reigned supreme:
What Not to Do on Social Media
- Don’t post photos with alcohol in it (especially if you’re underage). Okay, this one is easy. A tasteful cocktail may be fine, but posting that photo where you’re chugging a red Solo cup is probably not going to look good.
- Refrain from posting about politics. And if you do, keep it calm and neutral. It’s tough to balance the line of looking like an engaged citizen and disrespecting your peers, so tread lightly. It’s best to just not post about it at all.
- “If you wouldn’t wear it to church, don’t post a photo of it online,” Arnold said. Keep all your body parts in your clothing, please.
- Don’t accept LinkedIn requests from people you don’t know. It could get you in an awkward position when someone asks you to refer them to one of your friends—who you have never met. Stay within your connections, and you’ll realize that LinkedIn can be useful, too.
- Just because you have a private account doesn’t mean you can’t be found. There are so many ways around a private account, and most people think private accounts are so secure, they end up regretting several posts. My advice? Just use a public account and be mindful of what you’re posting. You don’t have to be insightful all the time, but it will make you look more trustworthy in the end. And going off of that, just a reminder that Snapchat doesn’t completely erase your photos after 10 seconds…
- Stop being so passive aggressive. Sure, you might be mad at your girlfriend, but call her instead of sub-tweeting about your fight last night. It could lead to people thinking how you’re going to treat your coworkers on a daily basis.
- Speaking of coworkers, don’t complain about your work, past or present.
- Be careful with your hashtags. Okay, #tbt is fine, but some can get political, some are offensive and some can be, well, just a creative choice of words strung together.
Maybe it’s time you go through that Facebook timeline and clean up your dirty posts, or maybe you should think more strategically about your future career. What industry do you want to be a part of? Post intriguing thought pieces on the career you’re about to have. Give some insights to other people. Start posting about things that matter rather than just your social life.
Just remember, you’re most likely always in search of a new job.