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Censored! 5 Posts on Social Media That Will Cost You Your Next Job


It’s common nowadays for recruiters to check a candidate’s social media profiles while conducting a background check. There are a few things employers really don’t want to see on your networks, including these deal-breaking pictures and posts, which could ruin your chances at your dream job.

1. Nudes (duh)

It’s pretty obvious why an employer wouldn’t want to come across a potential candidate’s nude or skimpily attired photos. This red flag alone will stop your candidacy in its tracks. Either make your profile and everything on it private or erase the inappropriate photos to prevent a potential case of career suicide.

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2. Rude or inappropriate comments

What may have sounded like a humorous joke when sharing with your friends, can (and probably will) be taken offensively in a professional context. Social media is a means to practice freedom of speech, but you should also understand that employers have opinions, too … and their opinions usually outweigh yours when you’re trying to get hired by them.

3. Excessive amounts of partying

Partying every night is awesome and totally acceptable … when you’re in college. Here’s the skinny: when you’re trying to begin a promising career, partying shouldn’t be a huge part of your life anymore, because you should be too exhausted from working long days to want to go out every night. However, if you do choose to work hard and play even harder (that’s your prerogative), then do you best to keep your social media profiles private.

4. An ungodly number of “selfies”

As if anyone wants to see a gazillion photos of you taken by … you. “Selfie” photos lend the perception that you’re self-involved and desperate for some online attention, which is definitely not the image you want conveyed to employers. We don’t need to see what outfit you’re wearing every day, nor do we need to see pictures of you from every single angle possible, so keep the narcissistic photos to a minimum … for all of our sakes. (Please and thank you.)

5. Terrible grammar

There is nothing worse than  finding poor grammar and spelling, even when it’s online. It seems as though nearly every other post on a social media news feed has some sort of grammatical or spelling error, and it’s even worse when you discover that some of those people are teachers, too. Yikes! Sounding professional in person and in all forms of communication is crucial to impressing a prospective employer, so brush up on some common writing errors so that you don’t come across sounding like a dud.

Tell Us What You Think

Can you think of any other social media no-nos? If so, share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.

More from PayScale

5 Ways to Clean up Your Online Profiles During a Job Search

The 5 Commandments of Social Media Etiquette

To Add or Not to Add Your Boss on Social Media? That Is the Question

(Photo Credits: Joe McKeever/Flickr, D.E. HannaH/Flickr, I Woke Up Today/Flickr, mylen monterey/Flickr, yaili/Flickr)

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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All good points, but what about content posted by other people?  Do I need to worry that some of my “friends” look a bit fringe?

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