Flooding your social media feed with selfies, hilarious memes, and raunchy retweets is all fun and games — until you graduate college. Well, it’s definitely still extremely fun after college (and we assume forever), but your post-grad social media behavior has a few more consequences after graduation. By the time you earn your degree and begin the job search or embark upon your fancy new career, many of your bad social media habits should’ve already fallen by the wayside.
As unfair as it may feel, the way you use social media can hurt your job search. Increasingly, employers are performing some hard-core lurking online to weed out unfit candidates. In fact, 70 percent of employers mine candidates’ social media to screen applicants, according to CareerBuilder.
As for why this happens, employers had various explanation for their online tactics:
“65% said they do it to see if the job seeker presents himself or herself professionally. About half (51%) want to know if the candidate is a good fit for the company culture, and another 45% want to learn more about his or her qualifications. Some cited ‘to see if the candidate is well-rounded’ and ‘to look for reasons not to hire the candidate,'” the site notes.
What this all boils down to: If you want to land a dream job, there are some things you should stop posting on social media by the time you leave college.
So, you went on a drinking binge with the squad over the weekend, and you really want to show everyone just how much fun you had because #YOLO. While your followers may understand that you’re a recent college graduate who’s simply trying to live it up, it’s possible that prospective employers won’t be so forgiving.
Not only can flaunting your drinking habits online decrease your hiring potential, in some cases, evidence of drinking off the job has resulted in employees being fired. Not fair, but hey, most of what’s on this list isn’t fair. You should totally be allowed to live your life and have employers understand that your off-the-clock behavior isn’t indicative of anything work-related…but that’s just not how it goes. Being an adult sucks, we know.
2Your romantic escapades.
Posting status updates every time you and your partner have an argument, break up, and makeup, or any form of sexual oversharing are all social media behaviors that can cause employers to pass you over for a job.
Career consultant Lauren McAdams told Business News Daily that “scandalous photos” are one of the main social media mistakes that could lead to loss of employment.
“Excessive partying, illegal substances and overtly sexual photos can damage an employee’s credibility, and if deemed to be negatively affecting performance, can lead to termination,” the site notes.
After another day slogging away at a job you *really* hate, it’s tempting to log on to Facebook and go on an anger-fueled rant about your sucky boss, awful working conditions, and miserable pay. But if you’re a recent college grad looking to make a professional upgrade, complaining about your current job online only gives employers reason to expect the same behavior from you if they hire you.
So avoid trash-talking about work online or discussing any offers you’ve received to give employers the impression that you can remain professional both on and off the clock.
The occasional selfie is fine, but if your face makes up the bulk of your social media feeds, it’s an automatic turn-off for employers. According to ecollegefinder, posting a ton of selfies suggests that you care more about appealing to friends and followers than hiring managers.
5Bad grammar and spelling.
How many times have you not bothered to go back and edit or delete a post (thanks for nothing, Twitter) because of an egregious spelling error? Yeah, you transposed some letters or maybe it was yet another autocorrect fail, but your followers know what you meant, so NBD, right?
As minor as it sounds, it kind of is a big deal. A 2014 social media recruiting survey conducted by Jobvite says 66 percent of hiring managers frown upon poor spelling and grammatical errors.
6Any type of drama.
In the past, you may or may not have been guilty of hopping online to get backup in an argument you had with your family or friends, but now that you’re a formally educated individual looking to expand your professional horizon, it’s best to keep your feeds clean of any drama.
You might feel better knowing that you won the debate, but all the online bickering could cause you to lose out on your dream job.
7Anything you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.
Simply put, whatever you want to keep to yourself doesn’t belong online. If you’re tempted to put your profiles on private on even delete your social media accounts to safeguard your personal info, that’s also frowned upon — it suggests to employers that you have something to hide, even if you don’t.
The results of a national survey conducted by CareerBuilder in early 2017 found that it’s preferable to be more conscious of what you post instead of not having a social media presence at all.
“Fifty-seven percent of employers are less likely to call someone in for an interview if they can’t find a job candidate online. Of that group, 36 percent like to gather more information before calling in a candidate for an interview, and 25 percent expect candidates to have an online presence,” the site notes.
Feel free to post as you please, but understand that your employer could be watching even if they’re not your intended audience.