Published on August 21, 2015

What you shouldn’t hide from a potential employer on Facebook (and why!)

There's a lot of discussion out there on how to try and hide on Facebook elements of your personal life from potential employers, using security settings and making sure you don't post certain content on social media. However, there can be something gained from sharing certain elements of your personal life on social media platforms like Facebook. Part of establishing your personal brand includes taking account of your hobbies, experiences and travels.

 

hide on Facebook

 

If a potential employer clicks on your social media profile and sees that you're a well-rounded, positive, friendly person, it will make you a more attractive candidate for a job. Think about this next time you decide to post photos online and limit who you share photos with. Publicizing parts of your personal life will give you more depth and could even lead to an important conversation in a job interview. What if you've been to the same Caribbean island as the person interviewing you? Or you two play the same sport? That's information that could benefit you if it's available publicly on your Facebook profile and couldn't possibly cause you harm.

 

Your privacy settings

 

hide on Facebook

 

Facebook has made changing your privacy settings on your posts pretty simple. Whenever you decide to post something to your Facebook page you can choose to share the post with either Public (Anyone on or off Facebook), Friends (Your friends on Facebook) or Only Me (Just you!). So the photos, articles, videos and other content you decide to share as Public will be available to people like potential employers. Choose this for posts that will give an employer a sense of some of your hobbies and interests outside of or even related to your work.

 

hide on Facebook

 

Examples of things to post:

Travel photos

Photos of you participating in clubs and organizations

Posts relating to sports, exercise and well-being

Posts about literature, culture and art (Though maybe avoid comments mentioning how hard you're binge watching a new series!)

Photos at cultural events like concerts, art galleries and restaurants

Photos with treasured celebrities or notable artists, intellectuals, athletes and musicians

Photos with current or previous coworkers or employers

Photos at university or intellectual events

Photos with family and friends

Posts about important milestones, like finishing your first marathon or winning a poetry contest

 

hide on Facebook

 

Things NOT to post:

Anything pertaining to drug or alcohol use

Photos of you partaking in a controversial political events

Overtly sexual photos

Photos showing too much skin

Anything racist or discriminatory

Content that is overtly partisan or reveals your political affiliations

Anything critical of your workplace or former employers

Whiny comments, or commentary that could be perceived as you feeling sorry for yourself

Photos of you using weaponry

Criticism of other people's spiritual practices

 

 

Photo 1. based on Facebook, by Massimo Barbieri, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 2. based on 2014 New York City Marathon, by Steven Pisano, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on Lame :(, by Karl Baron, CC-by-2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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