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Grow Your Business Social Media

15 Social Media Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Career

15 Social Media Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Career
Credit: jurgenfr/Shutterstock

In this day and age, nearly everyone has a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account. People regularly share photos, status updates and information about their lives on the Internet. But could your everyday social media posts destroy your career?

Recent grads and even current employees who don't exercise caution when posting online can do more damage than they might realize. We asked business owners and social media experts what kind of posts could be detrimental to your job search or even cause you to be fired from your current position. Here are the 15 social media mistakes experts say you need to stop making:

Illegal activities

"One time, I saw a candidate who I was really interested in bringing in for an interview, and after checking his social media accounts, which were filled with his weekend activities (some being illegal), I knew we couldn't hire him if we wanted to, so I never called for an interview." – Kindra Svendsen, digital marketing/PR specialist, Speak Creative

Drinking and profanity

"I understand having a few unflattering photos on your social media, perhaps some of them unknowingly, but when an applicant has a profile picture of them flipping off the camera or doing a keg stand, we are probably going to throw their resume into the recycling bin."– Lauren Witte, associate director of marketing and client services, Jackson White P.C.

Poor grammar

"To me, poor grammar implies a complete lack of regard for detail." – Jessica Green, founding director, Cursive PR

Lying about your experience

"I have found resumes on other sources that, when compared to their LinkedIn profiles, for example, do not adequately represent the candidate. It could be construed as lying. If there is no foundation of trust, there is no hope for moving the hiring process forward." – Michele Jennae, founder and educator, Perpetual Career Institute 

Nude photos

"The worst accounts I came across were students seeking an internship, and those included tons of profanity and in one case a few way too revealing (borderline nude) pics. I'm all for self-confidence, but when I'm looking for someone to be a team player, I don't want to get into a situation with big egos or improper dress."Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR

Lack of social media presence

"The worst thing an applicant for a job on my team can do is NOT have any social presence. Reflexively, I don't have a true north with these candidates. Are they hiding something? Just not that into other people? Not technically savvy? The mind wanders." – Eric Quanstrom, CMO, Pipeliner CRM

Lewd behavior

"I'm looking for an excellent online voice as well as ensuring that once this person is tied to my company's brand, they won't #friskyfriday or #bro us out of business. I'm a realist, and I fully remember the surge of excitement that makes our early adulthood a minefield of blackmail material. I'm not going to fault someone for forgetting to lock down the spring break album on Facebook, especially if they are coming into the workforce the first time. However, they are going to get an invigorating PowerPoint explaining their new life on social media, where Facebook album settings is on slide 8." – Rob Patey, director of marketing, WorkZone

Lying about your sick days

"Posting pictures of yourself at the Dodger game when you called in coughing and hacking, pretending to be sick is pretty much going to get you written up or fired." – Kimberli A. Taylor, paralegal & office manager, Conover & Grebe  [Fired for What? 10 Infamous Firings ]

Complaining about your job

"One of the worst things a current employee could post is complaints about their company and/or information on attending interviews or their job hunt." –Angela Baldwin, social media strategist, Near Me

Bashing your past employers

"The worst thing to find on a job applicant's social media accounts is anything negative about a previous or current employer. Potential employees should always make sure to either stay positive or post nothing at all. Nothing is accomplished in posting negatively online." – John Mahony, COO, Kavaliro

Sharing company secrets

"The worst thing a current employee could post on social media is trade secrets or internal discussions. A company is built upon the trust that employees will follow the guidelines prescribed, and any company worth their salt has walked employees through what is permissible and what is not." – Brandon Harig, social media community director, Agency 720

Hateful comments

"I am pretty open-minded, but if I see anything that is hateful towards another race, beliefs or sexual orientation, I tend not to engage or pursue the applicant any further." –Kisha Mays, principal, Just Fearless

Spamming or sharing false information

"Those who demonstrate reckless use of social media repeatedly, like network spamming, promoting false information and bullying, aren't doing themselves any favors in the job market." – Stephanie Katcher, social media specialist, All My Web Needs

Lack of engagement

"The worst thing I can find on a social account is a lack of activity or engaging posts when an applicant is applying for a position that requires you to engage with a community." – Michelle Brammer, social media strategist, eZanga

Not owning up to your past mistakes

"The worst thing I've ever seen was a great candidate, nearly perfect, matching our every expectation during the actual interview. However, after Googling her name, we found that she was caught stealing from a local supermarket, and it was on the news. The news articles stated that a minor mental illness was the cause of it, which was a bit of a shock, as she didn't mention it during the interview." – Pauline Delaney, senior career consultant, Resume Genius

Originally published on Business News Daily

Brittney Helmrich
Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.