Facebook has always had a weird relationship with colleges. It was created by a college student and originally exclusively used by other college students. And even though a billion people are on the network, there’s a general sense that it’s mostly young people who’re using social media.
Despite (or maybe because of) its origins, college is both the best and the worst possible time to use Facebook. A very large percentage of the things the network tempts you to share are the very last things you want to be seen doing right as you’re entering the work force. I dare you to find one person who hasn’t done something while in college that they would never share with an employer.
Just like our guide to things not to do during finals, we’re back with another reference list of bad ideas. If you’ve started your job search, here are some things you should purge from your wall (or probably just never put up there in the first place.)
- Under 21? No pictures with alcohol. This should be a no brainer. If this is the first time you’re hearing this, then please, please continue reading this list. You’ll need it more than the rest of us.
- Over 21? Only incredibly tasteful pictures with alcohol. Just because you’ve hit the legal drinking age doesn’t mean your future employer wants to see photographic evidence of that night you were undefeated in Flip Cup. Treat your pictures like they are beer commercials. Holding a beer is probably fine. Chugging from a bottle, lying in a pile of red Solo cups, playing drinking games… they’re all probably not.
- Complaining about school or work. When future employers skim your wall, they’re trying to get a glimpse of who you are. If they see that you can’t keep your disgust at professors, schools, bosses, and any other authority figure to yourself, they’ll assume you don’t have the right attitude for the work force.
- Complaining about politics. It’s one thing to be passionate about your political beliefs. It’s another thing to be negative about everyone else’s. Again, negative attitudes are a major turn-off for future employers.
- Information that contradicts your resume. One of the first things employers will check is whether your resume matches up with the background information in your profile. Whether through honest mistakes or outright lying, a surprising number of candidates have been disqualified for providing inaccurate or misleading information about themselves.
- Overly personal information. No matter what your privacy settings are (or what you think they are), you shouldn’t post anything on Facebook that you aren’t comfortable with being part of the public record. Don’t go on and on about your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Don’t talk about the fight you’re having with your parents or your siblings. Don’t share the messy details of your stomach flu. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t tell your co-workers. Or to be more specific, don’t say anything your co-workers really don’t want to hear.
- When you’ve watered some virtual crops. This doesn’t have anything to do with jobs. It’s just really annoying.
- When you’ve listened to “Call Me Maybe” on Spotify. Like with gaming stuff, this one is as much for your friends as it is for your employers. You don’t want to come off as someone who needs to share every little thing with the world.
- Not riting good. I know the keyboard on your phone is really small and typing with your thumbs is really hard, but with so many different kinds of spell check and autocorrect software, there isn’t any excuse anymore for bad spelling and bad grammar.
- An inability to understand satire. The Onion is not real, people. Don’t be the guy leaving the comment below: