iStock_000016004829XSmall (2)When it comes to your quest for a new career, is your social media presence helping—or is it hurting?

Social media profiles can be invaluable tools for personal branding—but using them as such requires some hard work. It requires a strategic approach. It requires regular updates. And in some cases, it requires discretion.

It also requires you to avoid some common pitfalls and pratfalls, any one of which could compromise your job search and cost you interviews. Five of the biggest social media mistakes that jobseekers make include:

  1. Being negative.

Employers are looking to hire people who will bring positive energy, a team spirit, and a good attitude. They’re not looking for whiners and complainers. If you use Facebook to gripe about your current job, you’ll do it for your next job, too—and employers don’t want to deal with that.

  1. Being offensive

We probably don’t need to tell you that posting sexist or racist jokes is a bad move. We probably don’t need to tell you that posting provocative posts featuring weapons or threats of violence is a bad move, too. Don’t set off any red flags that you might be an HR headache; if you think something could be offensive, don’t post it.

  1. Lying.

A potential employer will very likely Google you and check out your social media platforms before calling you in for an interview—and what you post on Twitter or Facebook will be fair game for interview questions. Want to talk about that time you consulted with Apple, or pitched an idea to Richard Branson? Fine—but make sure it actually happened!

  1. Abandoning professionalism.

Facebook is meant to be fun, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with posting photos from your family hike, your most recent holiday party, or the fun weekend you had with girlfriends. Posting a bunch of frat party-ish photos in which you look drunk and slovenly, though, may give hiring managers the wrong idea about your work ethic.

  1. Abandoning social media.

The biggest mistake of all: Forgetting that social media is a great venue for showing off your professional passion and know-how. Failing to optimize and regularly update your profiles with industry-specific content is a wasted opportunity, and may just take you out of the running for an interview opportunity.

So get your profiles professionally optimized today: Contact the Grammar Chic resumes team at, or 803-831-7444.