6 Social Media Habits That Could Cost You the Job

If you’re searching for a new job, you might want to clean up your social media accounts. According to a recent article on Business Insider, more recruiters are reconsidering candidates based on their social media profiles. David Blacker, a 20-year veteran headhunter and founder of Venerate Media Group, a company that provides social media and PR services, told Business Insider that “a lot of people put things out there without realizing the ramifications. The Internet is a living, breathing entity that goes on indefinitely, and assessing a candidate’s social media presence is one of the top things recruiters do.” The story cites several candidates who thought they had a job but, thanks to an unfortunate tweet or Facebook post, lost it. What bad behaviors should you avoid? Here are six social media habits that could cause you to lose a job offer.

  1. Bad-mouthing employers or co-workers. “Gossiping about colleagues or your company—even former ones—is a major turn-off for potential employers,” writes Molly Triffin. A 2014 CareerBuilder survey found that 36% of hiring managers have passed on a candidate because they found the candidate bad-mouthing or gossiping about their company. Putting down your workplace in public is never a good idea, so just don’t do it. Vent out loud to a trusted friend instead.
  2. Getting too personal. Oversharing personal information on Facebook or Instagram can come back to haunt you. Sharing your strong opinion on topics that are polarizing—such as religion, politics, and even pregnancy—can make a hiring candidate discriminate against you. “Employers can’t legally preclude people for this reason,” Blacker explains. “But if they don’t want to hire you, they can just give you a stock answer about picking another candidate who they determined was a better fit.” If you want to share, set your privacy settings so only friends can see your posts.
  3. Contradictory posts. If you say that you can’t make an interview time because you have a doctor’s appointment, don’t post photos of yourself drinking wine with friends at that exact time. You don’t want the hiring manger to catch you in a lie. “Part of preparing for an interview these days is to ensure that every piece of information you put out there is something you want people to see,” Blacker says.
  4. Spelling and grammar mistakes. According to one Jobvite survey, 66% of recruiters have rejected a candidate due to a poor grasp of proper English. Use spellcheck, and if you can't remember the difference between "then" and "than," do a quick Google search.
  5. Questionable content. Anything related to drugs or sex should be deleted from your profile. Why? It raises questions about your judgement.
  6. Being a bully. Having too snarky of a tone isn’t helpful to job hopefuls. “To buffer yourself against unintentionally seeming like a jerk, follow this rule of thumb: You can be whoever you want to be on the Internet, so be the kind of person you can be proud of,” Triffin recommends.

To learn more about the power of social media read The Art of Social Media.

Have you ever shared something on social media that you regretted later?