Picture this. You spend hours writing the perfect cover letter and resume. Sweat drips down your face through three rounds of interviews. Your mandatory training sessions and tested skills dazzle management, but wait! Not a full week later and you're called into your supervisor's office. Of all things, they let you go for something you shared on the internet.


This may sound unfair or extreme, but it happens every day. In today’s digitally connected world, we’re all ambassadors for our communities, schools, churches, and employers. Willingly or otherwise, our words and actions reflect on those that choose to associate with us. And some social media activity might cause them to disassociate with us. Taken right from the minds of real hiring managers and HR directors, here are 5 social media snafus that can get you fired or disrupt your chances of being hired.


Avoid public harassment of co-workers

Preparing to vent to your followers about the new temp? Think twice about the consequences. You might be able to curse out your boss on social media, but making fun of disabled co-workers is considered harassment and could result in termination. 

Avoid vulgar language

If your job is professional by nature, you may want to avoid frequent cursing in publicly available posts. Not only do future employers dislike unsavory behavior, but vulgarity on business-related media profiles can cause the loss of a client. 

Don't display binge drinking habits on social media

Although there's no shame in enjoying the occasional stiff drink, it is unwise to regularly share your drinking exploits on social media. You never know who's watching! An employer won't believe you're sick if there's proof on social media you were binge drinking last night. Not only will this behavior reflect poorly on you from your employer’s perspective, but can even lead to addiction, according to Resource Recovery.

Avoid sharing imagery of company property

Jenny Craig fired internet star Shane Dawson and six others when Dawson released a comedy sketch filmed inside his job. Unless given express permission, it's a good idea to avoid sharing anything you've filmed or taken of your work environment. It may seem innocent, but management could claim your video violates company policy. 

Disengage from racist behavior

Businesses with a social presence don't appreciate discrimination. Making racist comments where thousands of people can see who you work for is a surefire way to lose your job, even if you’re doing it ironically.

To conclude

From celebrities to office workers, anyone who brings negative attention to their employer is subject to criticism. Some would argue the ability to make content private prevents the above snafus. Though a clever tactic, this doesn't stop your friends and followers from sharing your content elsewhere. Be aware that you can't take back something shared on the internet. The most effective way to prevent your media presence from disrupting future employment is staying conscious of what you're posting for the world to see! 

Happy hunting, and good luck!