Could your Facebook posts cost you a job?

Could your Facebook posts cost you a job?

How could your Facebook posts cost you a job? I still find Facebook to be a useful tool for many reasons but there is good reason to watch what you say and post on Facebook. You may think you are safe because of privacy settings but all indicators say that anyone who really wants to can see what you post.

When your Facebook posts lead to being fired

Perhaps you have read the stories of people who were fired for a Facebook post or a tweet that went wrong but what about before that? If you are in a job search, are you watching what you say and post?

  • The inappropriate photo – Any time you post a pic or are tagged in someone else’s photo, analyze how an interviewer would look at the photo.
  • Using derogatory language about anything. Your professionalism is now in question. If your language is in sign language, even worse. One high level company executive had his profile picture as one with the well-known middle finger salute. He was in his 40’s or 50’s. No one should write or signal things that they wouldn’t say in a job interview.
  • Ranting about politics or religion. No matter which side you are on, if you use Facebook as your platform, someone will be offended. You don’t have to hide everything about politics or religion, just don’t be aggressively promoting something that could get in the way of your job search or your current job.

What else looks bad to an employer on Facebook?

  • Excessive game playing. If you are trying to convey that you will bring value to an organization, don’t let your stream be polluted with the high scores of the day or invites to join you on Angry Birds or whatever the latest game is today.
  • Too many posts in a short time. If you are constantly posting, again, the employer may be wondering what you would do at work.

In general, think about what you post and make it sure it is something you would want a prospective employer to see. If not, don’t post.

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Photo Credit: mkhmarketing


  1. Dan on January 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    On the other hand…I am a strong believer in exercising my freedom to post thoughtful (but sometimes blunt) political commentary. If exercising that freedom on my personal time offends a potential employer, then perhaps they are too intrusive of my personal freedom to consider working for them.

    • JulieWalraven on January 26, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      I do always tell clients that they need to determine what employers they would work for and sometimes your answer makes sense. However, I know people who skip the thoughtful and rant and rave on a daily basis, turning off everyone including their own network and those people may lose opportunities.

  2. Natalie on May 1, 2014 at 7:38 am

    This is one of the many reasons you should have your privacy settings set to “friends only” not “public view!”

    • juliewalraven on May 1, 2014 at 9:14 am

      That doesn’t prevent anyone who really wants to from finding your posts. Trusting Facebook to protect you isn’t smart. I know lawyers, insurance companies, employers, private investigators and others who know how to get around settings. The smart choice is if in doubt, don’t post it.

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