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5 Big, Little Social Media Mistakes That Cost You

Recruitment expert Anna Hodges, of Purple Squirrel, says once you post on social media, you can’t take it back. “If you want your personal life to remain private, either don’t post it or keep your settings private on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”

However, she says when you use social media to expand your professional network on LinkedIn it can give you a competitive advantage.

“I tell all my candidates to update LinkedIn profiles with a photo, an executive summary and to use keywords relevant to their industry and role so potential recruiters or internal talent professionals can find them.”

The following five mistakes are the ones Hodges says jobseekers make most on social media.


  1. Little Mistakes Like Spelling and Grammatical Errors

    – these are not a good look. Get someone else to review your content or profile if you need a second opinion! Double-check. These kinds of mistakes make you look less competent.


  1. Big Mistakes When Personal Social Media Settings Are Public

    – If you take a few too many happy snaps of you partying on the weekend, keep in private! A nice selfie with your friends is one thing, but a drunken shot isn’t a good look! If you wouldn’t want your mum to see it, don’t post it. Just in case!


  1. Political and Religious Comments

    – unless you are particularly active politically (or want a career in that sector), be very careful making comments or posts on these topics. They can come to bite you down the track! It might seem innocent enough at the time, but could be taken out of context very easily. If in doubt, don’t comment!


  1. The Same Rules That Apply in Life

    – especially those taught by mums everywhere – are the same on social media. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And try not to engage with “trolls”. Again, these things on their own may seem little, but you don’t want a prospective employer seeing a rude comment and deciding that you don’t have the same values as their organisation so they don’t want you working for them.


  1. Keep Professional Networks Professional

    – make sure your LinkedIn or other professional network sites represent you as a “professional” in whatever industry you choose. If you are in the beauty industry, maybe a close-up photo of you made up is the perfect option, but if you are looking to get into a more corporate style role, you would be best to select another picture.