Social media and work: don’t get fired over Facebook

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coworkers looking at table and discussing options

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, you name it. Social media is great when it comes to connecting with friends and family and staying current with news, but is it preventing you from getting a job—or putting you in danger of getting fired from your current job? Those questions are significant because we all put so much information on our profiles. Maybe even too much. Employers and recruiters can easily see who you are and what you’re about with a few clicks. Scary, right?

Of course, we know you’re probably a great catch, but, unfortunately, sometimes the things we say and do on our pages can be taken the wrong way, or just aren’t very professional. Even if they’re jokes or uncommon occurrences—think inappropriate memes or pics from a crazy party. So, what can you do about this?

Well, it’s time to review and clean up your social media. And depending on how active you are, it can be a breeze or a major headache. Regardless, with 70% of employers using social media to screen candidates, it’s really important. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that 57% of employers said they were less likely to interview a candidate they couldn’t find online, so you can’t skip out on these platforms altogether.

Before you start your social media cleanse—and make sure you don’t lose an interview or get fired over Facebook—here are four pieces of can’t-miss advice:

1. Utilize privacy filters.

Every platform has them. You can set items for personal or public view. Maybe you don’t want to delete a ton of your content. We get that it can be hard to let go of all of those Facebook albums from 2010, but it probably wouldn’t hurt if you hid them from the public.

2. Remove anything inappropriate.

Pictures, posts, comments, anything that could damage your reputation in the eyes of a potential employer; in fact 49% of employers have turned down candidates due to their social content. Unless you actively work to remove them, posts can remain online forever.

3. Consider those you are connected with.

What are people sharing with you or tagging you in? As they always say, “you are the company you keep.” Many of us probably heard that growing up, but it still applies in online sphere. Who do you associate with? What is Beth from 7th grade geography up to now? You may want to do some filtering.

4. Stay active.

Re-post some content from a thought leader in your industry. Tweet a picture depicting your work day or a cool leisure experience. If you have it, use it. Old, outdated content doesn’t harm you, but it’s not necessarily helpful either. Show others what you’re interested in and what you can connect on.

Whether you’re actively looking for a job or not, social media has an incredible influence on our daily lives—particularly work. Ensure it has nothing but a positive influence by cleaning it up. It’s a no brainer and will allow you to rest easy afterwards.


Eden is a student at the University of Florida working as a Marketing Intern for Adecco Staffing, USA. She has a passion for culture with a marketing mindset. You can usually find her at any local museum admiring their most recent collection of modern art.

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