We’ve all heard it before: once you post something online, it’s there forever. You might be wondering, do companies really look at social media? Nowadays, employers are more likely than ever to look up job applicants’ social media profiles. According to CareerBuilder.com, 60 percent of employers report using social media to find out more about candidates. Not only can posting inappropriate things on social media prevent you from getting a job, it can also get you in trouble at your current job.


1. Typos 

Your social media speaks for you. You wouldn’t let typos slide on your resume. Don’t let it happen in your social media posts. What you post online might be the first thing an employer sees from you. Mistakes can make you seem careless. So, make sure it’s something you would want to present to them and double-check before you hit post!  


 2. Too much negativity or complaining

Negativity includes complaining about your current job! Berating your job or boss on social media raises red flags. Prospective employers will wonder if they will be the next boss about whom you post public complaints.

A negative social feed can also mark you as someone who generally takes a pessimistic view of life. To employers, this can brand you as someone who can be a toxic force in the workplace – which is an impression you want to avoid.


 3. Anything unflattering or offensive 

Most workplaces have strict policies on discrimination or illegal activity. Employers will have zero tolerance for posts by job applicants that put down others or confirms involvement in illegal activity. If you have to give a second thought about whether your post could be offensive, don’t post it.

Only post things on social media that you’d let anyone see, including your potential boss. The best rule of thumb is – if you wouldn’t show the photo to your grandmother, then you shouldn’t post it online!


 4. Outdated or false information

One reason employers check social media is to learn more about you and your past. Before you start submitting applications, go through your social media profiles and make sure there isn’t any out-of-date information. Making sure that the information in your social account’s “About” or “Profile” section is updated will give companies a better insight to who you are. If your information is too outdated, employers might question if you were being truthful in your interview. 


 5. Posts that are not true to you

While you should always be aware of how employers may see you on social media, that doesn’t mean your posts can’t have a personality. The most important thing is for your social media to reflect you truthfully. 

Use your social networks as a way to show off all the great things about who you are beyond work. If you’re involved in organizations, charity work, love to paint or just hanging out with family – post about it! These are the things that let employers get to know you beyond the interview. 


By following these tips to avoid common social media red flags, you should be all set, and on your way to landing an interview!