careful when posting on social media

Watch what you post: Common social media mistakes to avoid

Social media can be a helpful tool and if used properly can enhance your employment prospects. However, using it incorrectly could cost you your dream position. Increasingly, employers are screening social media platforms before hiring new candidates. A worst-case scenario will see a job offer withdrawn due to inappropriate online content. So, what are some key mistakes to avoid on social media?

HaysSeek, and Indeed provide a guide on how to stop social media from damaging your employment prospects.


Not aligning your resume and online profile

Your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, should match the information in your resume. For example, ensure your most recent job title is listed and all dates are consistent.  Otherwise, employers will think you lack attention to detail and are prone to errors. By keeping information consistent, you will avoid being asked difficult questions or being removed from a shortlist.

Employers often Google a candidate’s name to get an indication of the candidate’s online presence. If you want to stay one step ahead of this process, try googling yourself. Doing so will give you an insight into what employers will see if they search your name. It may help you uncover unsavoury content or old social media profiles that you can delete.



Swearing on social media creates an unprofessional image and should be kept to a minimum.


Be careful what you post

What you post online is often accessible by hiring managers and recruiters. So, if you wouldn’t want them to see something, don’t post it.

Negative commentary should also be avoided where possible. For example, it is best to avoid criticising companies, including former employers online.

What we view as appropriate can change over time. Therefore, conducting a social media audit can be beneficial. Check your profile pictures and bios to see if they are professional. Delete any photos or posts which might convey a negative image.

Even the pages you like can affect how you are perceived. Therefore, make sure you haven’t liked or followed any inappropriate pages.


Sharing publicly

Consider if your social media content, especially that of a personal nature needs to be publicly available.

If you want to post freely, you could consider not adding colleagues on social media, though this is an extreme measure.

You can change your privacy settings, so your content is shared only with people you are friends with, or follow.

However, there is a balance.  You don’t want to make your social media accounts too private, or employers may think you have something to hide.


Posting during work hours

It’s essential to consider the timing of your social media posts. If you post on social media during work hours, this will be seen as a sign you aren’t concentrating on your job and could be seen as a red flag for future employers.


Connecting too early

Consider carefully how and when you interact with employers online. For example, adding the interviewer on Facebook after you have just undertaken an interview is inadvisable. Instead, you should wait until you are offered the job. Also consider who you are connecting with and on which platforms. For example, consider if you need to have your boss as a friend on Facebook.

Making a good impression on social media isn’t always easy. Public Service Resumes can help you build a professional online profile with our LinkedIn profile writing service.