Can Social Networking on Facebook and Twitter Hinder Your Job Search?

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One of the last things most people think about when exploring employment opportunities is their Facebook or Twitter profile. After all, the average person typically uses social networking sites for socializing off-the-clock. However, whatever you post to share with your Facebook friends is also available for the world to see; including potential employers. No matter how impressive your resume is or how well you nailed that job interview, what you’ve posted on Twitter or Facebook can be a determining factor in whether you’ll head for that corner office with a view or the unemployment line.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your social networking profiles employer friendly:


We all love to share photos of good times with friends, but remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Potential employers might be a bit turned off by your stellar keg-stand skills displayed on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, this won’t be happening in your cubicle or on the job-site, but you don’t want to give the impression that you will be calling in sick every Monday or showing up for work with a hangover. You should also remember that once hired you are a representative of that company. Employers don’t want clients and associates viewing employees as “party animals”. Make sure your social networking profile is clear of photos that may leave a negative and unprofessional impression.

Employer Bashing

Everyone gets frustrated with work at some point or another, but social networking sites are not a good place to vent. Even if you are ranting about a former employer, your potential new employer may see this as a sign of things to come. Just as you shouldn’t bash your former employers during a job interview, you shouldn’t bash them online either. Keep it professional.


It’s only natural to want to share your employment opportunities and job search progress with your online peers. But it’s a good idea to restrict that information to private messaging rather than post it publicly on Facebook or Twitter. “Over-sharing” can cost you the job! If a potential employer feels that they are your “back-up” they will likely pass you up for a candidate who truly wants the position.

Facebook Friends

Just because you are mindful of what you post on social networking profile does not mean that your friends will be as considerate. Be selective of who you choose to interact with on public forums. Avoid interactions with those who may post controversial or incriminating “evidence” of any activity that makes you appear un-hirable. Remember that what your friends post on your page may also have an adverse affect on your employability. Check your pages frequently for negative posts, delete them, and if necessary delete the friends who may jeopardize your job search success.

Privacy Settings

All social networking sites offer privacy settings; use them! If you feel that your online network of friends or choice of subject matter may jeopardize your employment opportunities, secure your online profile with privacy settings so only your selected friends will see your posts. Keep in mind, this is not foolproof. Some employers may request full access to your profile so it’s always best to just keep your profile clean and professional.

Rule of Thumb

if you wouldn’t want your Grandma to see it, neither should your employer.