6 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes

AAA

Surveys suggest that as of 2010, approximately 30% of employers are using Facebook to screen potential employees - even more than those who check LinkedIn, a strictly professional social networking site. To avoid missing out on a career opportunity, avoid these common Facebook faux-pas.

1. Inappropriate Pictures

It may go without saying, but prospective employers or clients don't want to see pictures of you chugging a bottle of wine or dressed up for a night at the bar. Beyond the pictures you wouldn't want your grandparents to see, seemingly innocent pictures of your personal life will likely not help to support the persona you want to present in your professional life.

2. Complaints About Your Current Job

It could be a full note about how much you hate your office, or how incompetent your boss is, or it could be as innocent as a status update about how your coworker always shows up late. While everyone complains about work sometimes, doing so in a public forum where it can be found by others is not the best career move. Although it may seem innocent, it's not the kind of impression that sits well with a potential boss - or a current one for that matter.

3. Conflicting Information

If your resume says you have a degree from Harvard, but your Facebook profile says you went to UCLA, you're likely to be immediately cut from the interview list. Even if the conflict doesn't leave you looking better on your resume, disparities will make you look careless at best and, at worst, your potential employer will assume you're a liar.

4. Careless Status Updates

Everyone should know to avoid statuses like "Tom plans to call in sick tomorrow so he can get drunk on a Wednesday. Who cares that my big work project isn't done?" But you should also be aware of less flamboyant statuses like "Sarah is watching the gold medal hockey game online at her desk".

5. Lax Security Settings

The security settings on Facebook have come a long way since the site started. It is now possible to customize lists of friends and decide what each list can and cannot see. However, many people do not fully understand these settings, or don't bother to check who has access to what. If you are going to use Facebook professionally, and even if you aren't, make sure you take the time to go through your privacy options.

5. Flamboyant Friends

You can neither control what your friends post to your profile (although you can remove it once you see it), nor what they post to their own profiles or to those of mutual friends. If a potential client or employer sees those Friday night pictures your friend has tagged you in, it could reflect poorly on you. Take a look at everything connected to your profile, and keep an eye out for anything you wouldn't want to show your mother.

Facebook Can Help You Get Hired … Or Fired

The best advice is to lock down your personal profile so that only friends you approve can see anything on that profile. Then, create a second, public profile on Facebook purely for professional use. This profile functions like an online resume, and should only contain information you'd be comfortable telling your potential employer face to face.
Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    6 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes

    It's not just your friends who can find your information - potential employers may visit as well.
  2. Investing Basics

    Why You Shouldn't Manage Your Friends' Money

    Your pals may like your returns, but it isn't wise for you to manage their money.
  3. Options & Futures

    Budget Without Blowing Off Your Friends

    With a little planning, you can maintain your social life without breaking the bank.
  4. Professionals

    Don't Lose a Job Over Your Facebook Profile

    Employers use Facebook to weed out candidates, so your Facebook page better be clean.
  5. Professionals

    5 Career-Killing Facebook Mistakes

    Facebook might be a great way to show off those cute pics from your vacation -- but your page isn’t so great if it hurts your career.
  6. Professionals

    5. Flamboyant Friends

    It's not just your friends who can find your information - potential employers may visit as well.
  7. Professionals

    How to Create a Professional Brand on Facebook

    Facebook isn't going away, which means you can't ignore it. Because of it's size, it can be a great venue to build a professional brand and get noticed.
  8. Personal Finance

    How Sending Money on Facebook Works

    Learn how Facebook users can send and receive money within their social network, and understand how the site benefits financially from offering this service.
  9. Investing News

    Facebook Money Transfer: Transforming E-Commerce

    Facebook's payment service holds huge prospects for Facebook’s business. Here’s how it works, and how it will impact e-commerce and Facebook's business.
  10. Personal Finance

    How to Job Search While You're Still Employed

    The best time to look for a new job is when you already have one.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Goodwill

    An account that can be found in the assets portion of a company's balance sheet. Goodwill can often arise when one company ...
  2. Return On Invested Capital - ROIC

    A calculation used to assess a company's efficiency at allocating the capital under its control to profitable investments. ...
  3. Law Of Demand

    A microeconomic law that states that, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, consumer ...
  4. Cost Of Debt

    The effective rate that a company pays on its current debt. This can be measured in either before- or after-tax returns; ...
  5. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  6. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
Trading Center