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Are Your Social Media Habits About to Cost You Your Job?

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Based on an article on (Number of Employers Passing on Applicants Due to Social Media Posts Continues to Rise, According to New CareerBuilder Survey), 51% of employers who research candidates social media profiles reject the candidates based on what they’ve found. This is up from 43% in 2013 and 42% in 2012. The trend is on the rise.

Some hiring managers will actually ask for your social media passwords so that they can see everything about you. There are new stories on a regular basis (see Employees Behaving Badly – The Social Media Edition).  What also impacts people are negative posts (or photos) posted by others where they were tagged in the photo.

What does all of this mean? Clean up your profiles, use caution when posting pictures/comments and be aware that nothing is “secret” these days.  The general rule of thumb is that if there is a picture or post that you would not want your mother to see, don’t post it!

Some things to consider:

Keep an Eye on Your Profiles:

This includes not only what you post to your own profiles, but what others are saying about you, too. Your friends can sabotage your job just as quickly as you can, by posting inappropriate photos of you or talking about inappropriate activities.

Monitor your mentions frequently, and clean up offending posts before they become a problem.


Familiarize Yourself with Company Policies:

With social media becoming more and more popular, many companies are adding rules about social networking usage to employee handbooks and other documents.

Make sure to read your handbook carefully. If you don’t see social media mentioned, ask your boss or an HR rep what’s considered off-limits at your company.


Tighten Up Your Security Settings:

It can get awkward, fast, when your boss sends you a friend request on Facebook — especially if you’ve got a lot of posts there that you wouldn’t want him or her to see. You can prevent this by adjusting your privacy settings to make your profile unsearchable.

But, if you’ve already received the request, the safest course may be to just clean up your profile and accept it.

You’ll also have to be extra vigilant about what you post in the future.


Watch What You Say about Your Company:

Once you’ve made a post online, it’s next to impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.

Badmouthing your employer or just being negative about your company is never a good idea anyway; doing it on your social networking profiles is a recipe for disaster.

Stay on the safe side by remaining positive about your job online, and save the kvetching for offline friends or private messages.


Avoid Controversy:

Politics and religion are two of the most polarizing subjects in existence — and airing your opinions about them on your public social media profiles can backfire in a big way.

Your employer may not share your views, be offended by your posts, or worry that your beliefs reflect poorly on the company. If your social profiles are easily accessible by your boss or coworkers, leave the hot-button issues out of your daily updates.


Check Yourself Out and Fix Your Mistakes:

Google yourself and create a Google Alert ( This will send an alert when your name is mentioned. While not entirely foolproof, it is one way to check on yourself.

Take a look at Your Internet Profile Matters when Searching for a Job to see what you can do to clean up your profile and fix your “sins of the past”. Social media is very powerful and has the power to end careers if not used wisely. You can protect yourself by cleaning up your profiles, watching what you say, and tightening up your security.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,


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