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Social Media and the top 5 ways it can hurt your career

By May 17, 2018August 17th, 2023Candidate Perspective

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Messenger, Voxer, Skype, etc.

Social Media is part of our everyday life and is excellent for sharing information and staying connected. These social apps can certainly provide countless benefits, but they can also hurt your job hunt and even hinder your professional advancement.

You are what you post…

The profile you put out there is exactly how you are perceived. In the world of social media, perception is reality.

Think of the last time you posted a status update or tweet. You may have thought that only your friends would be interested in seeing what you post, but did you know that many companies include a social media check-in as part of their reference and background screening practices? At the very least, the hiring manager often makes an effort to “check out” their potential new hire.

That said, if you are on the job hunt or have plans for professional movement in the future, the obvious things are for you to polish up your resume and LinkedIn profile. It may be time for you to think about your social profiles and the image you present to the world. In my personal experience recruiting and hiring over the years, I’ve seen all sorts of crazy things that candidates have posted that can sabotage their job hunt.

These are the top 5 mistakes job seekers make all the time.

1.) Overly political, aggressive, or divisive posts (can’t we all just get along!?)

It’s been a tough few years on the political spectrum, and our country has undoubtedly felt divided at times. We all have our opinions but being very aggressive, accusatory, or overly political- especially in a negative manner- just isn’t good. No one wants to read those posts- Not your friends and certainly not your co-workers or futures boss.

Instead of the aggressive, divisive, and hateful posts, we can each do our part to create a social media presence of equality and inclusion.❤️

Work Hard and Be Nice neon2.) Vulgar or sexually explicit posts

Do I even have to explain? Well, apparently, yes. I know that right now, it’s all about being a badass or a kickass in the business world but seriously, enough already. We get it; you’re amazing, but trust me, leave the profanity and overly explicit posts out of your public profile. If it’s not something you want your grandmother, pastor, child, or future employer to see, don’t put it out there or just make it private.

3.) Partying / drinking / wild and crazy nights out

So, you want to go out and have fun with your friends, tag everyone you know, and see your social status climb! I get it! I enjoy my wine, some nights more than others. 😉 There’s nothing wrong with that now and then, but if you’ve done it all the time, especially throughout the work week or even alcohol during the workday while referencing calling out, you may not have a job left to play hooky from!

4.) Complaining about your boss, co-workers, or employer

We all have rough days and get frustrated, but it’s essential to keep it in perspective. Scrolling through a candidate profile and seeing how much they hate their boss or how they can’t stand the company they work for won’t make anyone want to hire you. I promise.

5.) Non-work related posts while you are at work

You’ve joined a side hustle and want to earn that passive income by sharing online, then sharing again, then again and again. All during the 9-5 when you are technically working for another employer.

Or, you open Facebook for a quick check and get sucked into that funny cat or food prep videos, and you just want to share, and share, and share again.

Or, you’re obsessed with that new .io game and can’t stop playing. Little do you know that your score is repeatedly getting posted as a status update with each game. Oops!

This all just looks bad. Moderation is key. While at work, focus on your work. Also, just so you know, posting and working your side hustle during the paid time from your current employer, or working that side hustle on their company-issued equipment, may be considered theft and can be grounds for termination or a breach of any employment agreements.

workplace SM

Polish up those profiles, stat!

Social Media has become one of the best ways we can share information and connect. We open the door for everyone to see, but no “delete” feature erases a post forever. Many employers will check out your social media profiles to get a better idea of who you are. Make sure those public profiles align with your professional goals!



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