image of hand tapping a message onto a smart phone screen


A major news outlet recently did a segment on new graduates and their job searches. It centered on the use of social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter. It reminded me of a time, just over a year ago, when I was working with a customer that needed an entry-level technology professional.

We looked at a recent graduate from a top university with an outstanding GPA; on paper, the resume was the perfect fit. The candidate also passed our thorough screening process with flying colors.

The customer’s hiring manager was interested in the candidate, and agreed to an initial phone screening. What I didn’t know was that, in the meantime, the hiring manger viewed the candidate’s Facebook page.

That is when it all went south. The young professional had posted a background picture referencing a cable series that focused on opioid use.

This just didn’t set well with the hiring manager, even though we talked it through and both agreed the candidate was a great applicant and the picture was meant to be a joke. But the fact was, the picture was posted, and it left a bad taste in the hiring manager’s mouth.

Word to the wise: If you’re not sure whether it’s a good idea to post something on social media, don’t post it!

We live in a world of free speech. But we need to be conscious of what we are “putting out there” on social media. For young professionals looking to land their first job, know that you might have the highest credentials around, but if you post something deemed by a potential employer to be inappropriate, you might find your job search dragging on.

We’re all guilty of sometimes posting before thinking, and it can be hard to know what might offend someone. There are apps available for purchase (Scrubber* to name one) that flag what might be considered inappropriate content. If you’re not sure what is inappropriate, such apps might be a good investment. When it comes to how you present yourself during a job search, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

*Vector Talent Resources is not affiliated with Scrubber and is in no way promoting this application.


Written by Debbie Reynolds, Director of Talent Services at Vector Talent Resources. For more information about how Vector can help you, contact Debbie at or call us at 703.639.2160.

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