Social Media Dos and Don’ts During a Job Search

If you’re in job search mode, odds are you’ve spruced up your resume (or resumes), updated your LinkedIn profile and even drafted a few cover letters so you’re ready to apply to the right jobs when you see them. 

But have you given your social media profiles a review lately? 

Most people have at least one social media account, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat or others; having them is not an issue but what you post there might cause some raised eyebrows during the interview process.

Not to fear! Here are some ideas on what to do — or avoid doing — on social media when you’re looking for a new job:

Consider how your past posts can impact your future.

Professional athletes have been called to answer for their old social media posts in recent years. Normally, these athletes will apologize for their actions and comments and people will shrug it off as a youthful indiscretion. But you’re likely not a professional athlete. The person reviewing your social media profile as part of the candidate review and interviewing process might not move past controversial posts, opinions, photos or other content as easily. Go through your old posts and consider whether you might be better off deleting them. Or…

Create a second account for professional use.

If you don’t want to fully merge your public and private lives, or if you want to put a different, more professional foot forward to help in your job search, consider locking your personal account so only people who currently follow you can see your posts. Then create a second profile for your professional work. You can use this second account to share links that pertain to your line of work; you can use it to talk up coworkers and peers and offer your thoughts on relevant topics to the kind of work you want to do. A professional LinkedIn profile can be used for applying to jobs, networking, securing testimonials and references that can be really useful to potential employers — LinkedIn is also a great tool for employers who are stealthily looking for qualified candidates, even if those people aren’t looking for new jobs. 

Use a professional-looking photo.

If your current account photo is of you standing with your favorite band, hanging out with friends doing something wild or anything other than a professional-looking headshot, you might want to change that. Anyone reviewing your social media profile will have that image as their first introduction to you as a person (and as more than just a resume); you’ll want to present yourself well to keep them interested in your application. 

Don’t keep outdated information available.

If you’ve changed jobs frequently in the past few years, you might want to look at your online resume and make sure it’s up-to-date. If you’ve moved, you want to check your address to see where it lists you — location might take you out of the running for some jobs. Is your email address, phone number, etc, current? Have you added any training, certifications or licenses you’ve acquired? Do you specialize in something? All of that information can help set you apart and should be prominently featured anywhere someone can look up your information as part of a review process. 

Don’t forget your privacy settings.  

Whether you want a second profile to separate personal and professional lives or if you’d just rather stick with a single one, keep in mind that you have the ability to control who sees your profiles and your posts. You can adjust privacy settings to prevent people who don’t know you from seeing your online activity. Granted, that might hurt your chances if you’re looking at a job that requires social media usage, or if you’re trying to network with new people in your given field, but it is an option. Some platforms let you selectively lock posts to limit interactions; go through your settings and see what you can do to build better walls around your comments. 


Social media can be a powerful, useful and fun tool when it comes to just about anything, including looking for a new job. Just be mindful of the “you” you present online and who might be watching — a bad post, a bad comment or an overly negative presence might hurt you in the long run. 

If you’re looking for more tips on how to advance your career or want a little help finding your next opportunity, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We have great jobs available right now and we’d be happy to help connect you with the companies we work with. Call Debbie’s Staffing today and let’s get started!