You’ve seen it happen. Someone did something on social media that landed them in hot water with their boss, forced them to resign, or sparked outrage. Lifting the veil on our personal lives via social media has become somewhat of a social norm with anything and everything accessible by conducting a quick search.

Job applications are all about selling yourself. You’re giving recruiters a reason to want to shortlist and interview you based on what you’ve done, but more importantly, who you are.

Now, imagine you’re recruiting someone for a job. Picking a person who is the right culture fit is arguably considered more important than ticking the boxes on paper, so you want to make sure of a few things, right? What better way to gain a snapshot of a candidate than by having a sneaky look at their social media profile?

Here are the top major mistakes recruiters are searching for across your social media.

Posting or sharing inappropriate content

This is a giant no-no. We’re not just talking about the obvious stuff such as anything attributable to views that are racist, sexist, or posting sexually explicit content. Employers want to know that your morals and values align with their organisation, which means the list of things that can affect your application extends to: swearing, personal views that are offensive to any particular groups, posting information sensitive to a company, evidence of illegal activity, threats towards people or groups… you get the idea.

Posting during work hours

Were you a serial poster in your previous job/s? Sharing those hilarious cat videos at 2pm on a Wednesday could cost you the consideration of a would-be employer. It demonstrates that your productivity and focus isn’t at a desirable level and that you’re easily distracted.


Your resume says that you have no gaps in your employment, but your social media says you took 6-month trip overseas. Something doesn’t add up. Recruiters are looking for inconsistencies with the profile you’ve presented them on paper versus the one you’ve posted online, and any discrepancies won’t be a good look for your integrity.

To dive even deeper, recruiters will also be looking at inconsistencies between your social media profiles. If your LinkedIn and Facebook are squeaky clean but your Instagram is full of content that says the opposite about your personality, they’re going to notice.

Inappropriate photos

Whether you’ve put them up yourself or have been tagged in them, photos that are considered in poor taste or character revealing could send you to the bottom of the pile. For example, multiple shots of you drunk, drinking or engaging in questionable/offensive behaviour might give your prospective employers the impression that you indulge a little too much outside of your work hours which could affect your job productivity, enthusiasm, and attendance levels.

Complaining about previous jobs

Ever posted about your crappy boss, chucking a sicky, or how much you hated your job? You should probably revisit those posts. Recruiters are on the hunt for glimpses into your attitude towards your previous workplace/s and colleagues. Calling your Manager, Gary, a ‘grade-A jerk’ or slagging off your previous company isn’t a great look when you’re attempting to sell yourself to a new place of employment.

A final few tips

  1. Keep an eye on your grammar and watch for any typos. It can come across as unprofessional and might be attributed to your quality of work.
  2. Don’t make everything It looks a little suss if you have zero public visibility available. What are you hiding?
  3. Lots of negativity can make you seem like you will be a bad fit for a company that is promoting a positive workplace culture

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