Don’t be Job Search Roadkill — Online Goofs to Avoid

Posted: 08/13/2010 in Social Media Job Search Strategies
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There’re things you just don’t want to do online when you’re doing a job search, if you don’t want to be left mangled on the side of the road. Here are a few:

  • Post photos of yourself drinking, smoking, taking a bong hit, making out with someone, doing lines off your pet iguana’s head, exposing body parts you wouldn’t normally expose in a job interview, engaging in bodily functions you wouldn’t normally engage in in public, or doing anything else you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see. Yeah, I know Facebook is supposed to be for fun stuff and not for professional networking, but the hard reality is that a year ago, nearly 50% of employers recently surveyed confessed they peek on candidates’ social networking sites (more detail in this article —  And that was a year ago, so I’m betting that percent’s a helluva lot higher now. So get used to it.
  • Make snarky comments about your current or former boss, co-workers, etc. Just as this won’t win you any points in an interview, it’ll turn off prospective employers online, too, or get you fired from your current job. Not smart.
  • Talk about your job search online when your current boss doesn’t know you’re looking. Guess what? Your boss knows how to use the internet too.
  • Make racist/sexist/ageist/other “ist” comments anywhere online. Even if it’s not on your own site, comments on other people’s blogs can rear their ugly little heads in a search. So just don’t.
  • Post content with spelling and grammatical errors. Unless you’re made out of straw, you were not the “office manger.” Generally, employers want to hire people who are literate and pay attention to detail.
  • Lie. It’s just as icky even if it’s not on your resume. Don’t say on your LinkedIn profile that you graduated from Harvard if you didn’t, or worked for a company who never heard of you, or held a management position when you were an administrative assistant. It’s too easy to check that stuff, and most employers don’t like dishonesty.
  • Broadcast confidential information about your current or former employer. Talk about untrustworthy. Not cool.
  1. Laurie,

    Just stopping by to continue the conversation. I think that social media can be a huge detriment to a new employee. There are many things that people do in their personal lives that they don’t even think could lead to issues with a job.

    I like to live by the mantra not to burn bridges. You never know when you could use the help of a former employer for a reference or other favor.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

    • I agree! Although social media can be an asset if it’s used to establish a positive online presence, but job seekers (or potential job seekers, which includes practically all of us) has to really be vigilant in making sure they’re not exposing themselves in any potentially damaging way. Can be tough to do!

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