Ten Ways Social Media Will Derail Your Job Search

Updated: November 17, 2010

  1. Too much information. TMI is a standard concept these days, and any potential employer is likely to run at the first mention of your sex life, your bathroom habits or any other over-the-top type of sharing that's not appropriate for public consumption. If you wouldn't talk to your grandmother about it, don't post it on Facebook.
  2. Unprofessional behavior, caught on camera. This is one that people well into adulthood still seem to not understand. If you're doing something unprofessional or inappropriate, and you're caught on camera - don't let your friends tag you in those photos on Facebook. Same goes for videos. Keep visual proof of your bad or embarrassing behavior away from social media. Many an employee and student have been fired or expelled due to racist Halloween costumes, embarrassing posed photos or even practical jokes. There are things you just don't want to post online. Your future boss will not understand the jokes like your friends do.
  3. Check-ins at questionable places, or odd hours. Check-ins can reveal a lot more about your personal habits than you might want to share - so be careful. Check-ins, whether it's Facebook, Yelp or Foursquare, essentially allow anyone to track you, so keep that in mind every time you pull out that smartphone.
  4. Boring content. If you over-post about what you're having for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or spam your friends & followers with Farmville requests or generic invites, an employer might think you're not social media savvy. The first reason for de-friending or opting out of a fan page is too many posts, followed thereafter by boring posts. So avoid this at all costs. Be sparing about what you share, and always keep it interesting.
  5. Complaints about work. This is a no brainer. Complaints about your current job are not something you should share via social media. If you hate your gig, vent to friends in the privacy of your own home - don't post it for the world to see. Even if you think you have your privacy settings secure enough, you never know who might squeak by, and complaints about a current or former job will send new employers running for the hills.
  6. Friend association. Is your friend list a collection of young girls in revealing clothing or people doing beer bongs? If so, you might want to pare down that list and get rid of the clutter. Potential employers may be turned off by negative associations, so hopefully your friends don't sound any alarms.
  7. Negativity. This is one that's hard to hide. If you're a highly negative person, it will likely come across in your social media posts. If you're constantly unhappy and complaining about one thing or another, potential employers will likely think you'll be a Debbie Downer in the workplace - and no one wants that. Try to keep it positive.
  8. Lack of friends or followers. If you have 10 followers on Twitter, and you're applying for a Director of Social Media position - you may have a problem. Employers expect you to practice what you preach. You can't claim to be an expert and have the ability to grow fans & followers for a company if you're unable to do it for yourself. Boost those numbers so employers can see that you know what you're doing.
  9. Misspellings or bad grammar. Even in the age of digital snippets and abbreviations, misspellings and lack of proper English are major no-nos. Employers want to know you can communicate and express yourself appropriately, and if you're constantly making spelling mistakes or displaying awful grammar, this is bad news. Take the time to proofread before you post - and don't forget to spell-check.
  10. Drinking or drugs. This is about as obvious as it gets. DO NOT post photos or comments about yourself engaging in illegal or irresponsible behavior. Ever. You never know who might come across it, and it could completely ruin your career if it fell into the wrong hands. No employer is ok with this, no matter what you might think, so be careful.
Featured Research
  • Can Gamification Improve Contact Center Performance

    We have all heard the phrase "all work and no play". Well, would you believe us if we were to tell you that by implementing gamification you can INCREASE contact center engagement, morale, and overall performance? Spoiler alert: 89% of contact center employees believe that a point system within their contact center would boost their engagement! more

  • [Infographic] 8 Common Pain Points UC Eliminates

    Every company has moments of frustration, it is when these moments become extended periods of inefficiency, or pain points, where we start to see loss in productivity and employee morale. What truly sets a successful business apart from those of its competitors, is how they take these pain points and use them as opportunities to improve upon procedures and systems to eliminate pain points and move beyond what was the status quo. more

  • Go VoIP and Go Green

    You may be looking to switch to VoIP because of the cost benefits that it will bring your company, but did you know that it is also FAR BETTER than traditional phone systems for the environment as well? With environmental impact being at the forefront of both consumer and business minds, it is essential that business decisions are made now based on economic AND ecological impact. more

  • 10 Steps for Creating an Accurate Call Center Forecast

    While other customer service channels are gaining traction, phone support is still one of the most HEAVILY used customer service communication methods. Now what does this mean for YOUR business? We answer that question and more in our latest paper which discusses the importance of knowing call volumes, peak call times, and industry trends so YOU can accurately staff your call center to handle all your clients demands. more

  • eGuide: Comparing UC Vendors

    Changing your company’s business communications solution is an investment in time and money that will touch everyone in your organization. A successful unified communications (UC) deployment should streamline everyone’s work flow, simplify IT operations and deliver a lowered total cost of operations. Your company deserves nothing less. more