How to Protect Your Facebook From Potential Employers

Let’s be honest here for a second.  If you’ve grown up around social media sites such as Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube or Facebook, you probably have posted a few things you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see.  

That one night in college at that crazy frat party when you knew you shouldn’t have taken that dare that involved a live chicken and a race across the quad?  It made for hilarious video and plenty of likes, for sure.  But that, and all of those crazy duck-face selfies, odd drinking night out with friends pics, or various other documentation of your shenanigans probably won’t be as impressive to someone looking to pay you for your professionalism on the job.

No, you won’t be sending your FB profile along as part of your resume, but companies and hiring managers have also become increasingly savvy and know to do their social media due diligence on candidates before they get a foot in the door.  If thoughts of your potential boss getting a glimpse of that one time you thought it was hilarious to publicly document how many hamburgers you could stuff in your face are now racing through your head, never fear.  We’ve got some spot-on advice when it comes to protecting your Facebook from potential employers.

Clean Up that Timeline

Anyone who’s ever woken up after a night where they’ve left their phone unguarded from a friend or significant other knows the value of the “delete post” button.  Exercise this magical ability to change the past by taking a hard look at previous posts, pictures, and comments.  Delete anything that may portray you as unprofessional or that would make a prospective employer think twice about your candidacy.

On the fence about what to trim on your personal timeline?  Apply the golden star standard for rules when it comes to appropriate social behavior.  If it isn’t a post or picture you’d want your mom to see, delete with abandon.  After all, you probably have the picture saved on your phone or computer if you really want to hang on to the memory.

Guilty by Association

Speaking of timeline cleansing now would also be a good time to check out those pages you “like” or interests you are subscribed to.  This information can be visible to anyone checking out your public profile.  While “drink until your face falls off” may have been an interesting page for college-you, the adult you has a greater need for a steady career.  Unlike or delete any interests that may seem unsavory or less than complimentary to your personality.

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

While you’re on that cleansing spree, it’s time to check out the “pictures of you” section.  Remove tags of yourself from any questionable images following our mom rule laid out above.  You can also personalize your facebook to prevent friends from tagging you in future photos or turn on a case by case approval if you want to be responsible for reviewing all future posts.

Let’s Talk Privacy Settings

Regardless of how well you clean up your timeline or how many times you remove your name from the “tag a friend who would like this” from your personal page, questionable items are bound to sneak through from time to time.  Personal tastes can vary wildly and what seems like an innocent picture or comment to one person could be highly offensive to another.  

It’s a good thing, then, that Facebook invented the privacy control panel, just for situations such as these.  Using this handy guide, FB users can adjust just about everything.  From who can add you as a friend to tags, photos and more, users can lock down as much or as little as they’d like.  If you use your Facebook for professional networking you may want to relax certain settings or create groups of users who can see certain types of posts.  If you’re into keeping your private life private, simply change your settings to friends only on everything.

Whichever your privacy style, you’ll be armed with the tools to make a great social media impression.  Now if only we could get that YouTube video of your awful macarena from your sister’s wedding deleted…

Article Updated from the Original on November 5th, 2017