Job Hunting? Hide These 3 Things on Facebook

By now, everyone knows that social media can ruin your chances of getting hired. Still, privacy settings can be confusing, on Facebook in particular, and there's a pervasive (and misguided) sense that oversharing is the new normal. If you must use Facebook to update everyone from your old high school classmates to your first boss on your summer plans, be smart and hide anything that reflects poorly on you from a professional perspective.


(Photo Credit: dkalo/Flickr)

The following should never, ever make it to the general public via your Facebook account:

1. Smack-talking about a former job.

"A pal of mine who recently passed the bar and thinks she's smarter than me did this, without changing her Facebook privacy settings, and the post was public," writes Jessica Sager at The Grindstone. "Her new employer saw it, and it wasn't pretty."

Employers can and will rescind an offer if they read something bad about their company on your Facebook or Twitter accounts. If they see that you're the kind of person who gossips about your former company or co-workers, they might just neglect to make an offer in the first place.

2. Cussin' and fightin'.

Your old teachers were right: swearing makes you look vulgar. Ditto getting into arguments with people online. "But celebrities do it all the time!" Yes, and see how silly they look. Don't get into it. Rise above the fray and you'll remain unsullied by folks who'd rather roll around in the virtual mud.

3. Clothing, or lack thereof, that you wouldn't wear to work.

Before you post a picture, ask yourself: would I wear this to a company function? If the answer is no, restrict it to your closest friends, or don't post it at all.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you hide from prospective employers on social media? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


  1. 7 Faith 13 Jun
    Very true. I personally do not do such ANYMORE :-)  
  2. 6 keish 23 May
    Cut and paste Juste's comment from 5/22. Period. Bam. Boom. If they want to see all then they will have all - your life that is. No work - life balance there, people.
  3. 5 RB 23 May
    I do not have work colleagues who I share only a professional relationship with on Facebook...that connection is for LinkedIn. ..and there is no cross posting between FB and LI. My Facebook is totally locked down...for family and real sneaky surprises from bosses in my space. The less than handful of people from work are further grouped into a limited group on FB. Draw and maintain the line between professional and private. 
  4. 4 Chris 23 May

    Hypocrisis - be two different persons - one at home and private, another one in public/at job.

    Of course don't publish nude pictures, as well as you wouldn't show your nude pictures to everyone, or shout at children only privately and in anger. Wouldn't publish it either - in writing.

  5. 3 Juste 22 May
    All of the above advise makes sense, but my question is where does it stop? Where do we draw the line in the sand and say a company may not venture further into what is supposed to be your private life? Would the open their books to you and accept that you can read all about their bad/wrong decisions, times where they wronged employees, ignored harassment, nepotism, favouritism, etc.? They are no more perfect than you, so figure out your FB privacy settings and don't work for a company that insists on seeing you FB. It says more about them than a photo with a bottle of beer in your hand can ever say about you. I'll bet they have a high staff turnover too that they wouldn't want to explain to you.
  6. 2 Grace 22 May

    Totally right! And not just that I wouldn't share details about my current/former job whereabouts as privacy is a big concern for most employers. Plus yes, why do we have to be that "open" pretending what we're not to (in most of the cases) people that we don't even know? 

  7. 1 Gayle 22 May
    I personally don't do any of the 3 things that you have listed on my fb. I don't talk badly of anyone. I don't bitch or fight and I don't swear (badly). Some of my fb "friends" are children. Facebook is "in public". When did we start thinking it was okay to publicize thing we would only have done/said in private? It's not just about what a future employer thinks of you. What about everyone else? Perhaps I'm just a little bit old fashioned :)


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