Social media can provide an excellent tool for achieving your career goals. After all, there’s a reason why LinkedIn has more than 774 million users. However, social media can also have the opposite impact. Used incorrectly, your online posts can hold you back from getting the job you want.

You don’t necessarily have to log off permanently. Properly leveraged, you can get a lot of career mileage out of your social media feed. There are many ways that this strategy can help you capture top jobs:

  • Researching Opportunities
  • Highlighting Your Achievements
  • Improved Networking
  • Building a Personal Brand

Still, social media comes with risks. More than one in six employers report firing someone because of something the employee posted on social media. Given this fact, imagine how quickly these companies will pass on a job applicant with a shaky social media feed.

Clearly, you have to be thoughtful about how you use social media when planning your career. With that in mind, here are some of the ways your social media can negatively impact your job prospects:

5 Ways Social Media (If Improperly Utilized) Can Hurt Your Job Search

Wild Behavior

Everyone has done their share of crazy stunts. Unfortunately, if you post them on your social media feed (and forget to delete them) the evidence of your youthful exuberance can be there forever.

As you prepare to apply for jobs, go through your past posts. Delete anything that makes you look less-than-professional. You don’t want a hiring manager stumbling on something embarrassing.

Controversial Political Statements

Yes, you have freedom of speech. But companies also have the freedom to prefer non-controversial employees. Remember: a hiring manager likely won’t give you the option to debate an issue. If they believe your online takes are too spicy for their corporate culture, they just won’t invite you for an interview.

Feel free to share your thoughts online. Just be aware that they might have professional consequences.

Jokes That Haven’t Aged Well

Social media is all fun and games … until it costs you an employment opportunity.

Attempting to get likes and retweets can often lead people to look for edgier content. This might get you some short-term attention. But it could also end up costing you in the long haul. Jokes you posted years ago could come back to haunt you when you apply for a job.

As with the photographic evidence of your wild behavior, it’s time to review your past attempts at comedy and look for items that could now be considered problematic. If there’s a doubt, don’t risk it. Hit delete.

Complaints about Your Job

Of course, you shouldn’t bad mouth your current employer online. Even if it doesn’t get you fired, it can cause unnecessary tension.

Most people understand that common-sense restriction on their social media activity (though the advice is hardly universally followed). However, it’s important to follow the same rule for former employers as well.

Information that Contradicts Your Resume

The lesson here isn’t really about social media. Rather, you should take away a simpler moral: don’t lie on your resume.

However, you should realize that lying on a resume has become much more difficult in the modern world. Expect your potential employers to research you before making a hiring decision. If items in your social media feed contradict the information you submitted on their application, you won’t receive a job offer.

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Creating a professional image for yourself will help you land career opportunities. A top recruiter, like Hiregy, can give you the assistance you need. You’ll get the expert advice you need to put your best foot forward.

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