Apply a version of the new adage “don’t post it online if you wouldn’t say it to their face” before and during your job hunt. If you live your life online – from chatting with friends to writing long detailed emails/blogs about your travels and travails – your opinions on various topics could easily be seen by prospective employers.

When your opinions amuse or upset someone, they are likely to be forwarded, tweeted, tagged, linked and liked, +’d, ninged and xinged, tumblr’d, and stumbled upon. You can patch up a friendship when you moan about a pal, but no amount of grovelling will patch up your career when you whine about your job or company.

Don’t gamble with your job prospects or risk losing your existing job by posting about these topics:

(1) Unsociable (to you) working hours.

Whinging about the time you have to get up in the morning smacks of a teenage rant. Not impressive. You knew what the hours of operation were before you took the job. If they changed, complaining online won’t change them back.

(2) That co-worker.

Every office or workspace has one. You should not be proud of your inability to get on with a colleague, no matter how offensive. Don’t associate yourself with a social media hate campaign that pops up in a news feed. Instead, spread the word online about how you are a team player and get on with co-workers.

(3) The PITA (Pain In The A___) client.

At the end of the day, clients pay your wages – don’t dis them online. By uploading their name, company, brand, or product to the web, you are, in effect, promoting them and your words could be found by anyone searching for those keywords – especially if they have a Google Alert set up. If your less-than-complementary tirade is traced back to you and your company, your professional reputation will be shattered.

(4) Your office romance/crush.

It may be an unromantic surprise when you learn that your company’s culture frowns upon inter-office relationships. There are many reasons for establishments to disapprove of these liaisons. The most obvious is the fallout after a breakup – loss of productivity.

(5) Your mean boss.

The man or woman with the power to hire or fire you should never be criticized or joked about on social media sites. Their sense of humour may not stretch that far. As well, if that co-worker (see point #2) reads your post, it will eventually come to the attention of the authorities. It is also likely that your supervisor shares some of your social connections, even if only on LinkedIn. They could come across your damaging post with no help.

So, think twice about how your posts will affect your job hunting efforts. Remember that when you post to social media sites, you could be broadcasting to the whole world!


How to Get a Job You’ll Love 2015-2016 Edition (E-book and paper book by John Lees, one of the UK’s best known career coaches and authors)

Job Hunting Online (What Color Is Your Parachute: Guide to Job-Hunting Online, E-book and paper book by Mark Emery Bolles and Richard Nelson Bolles)

Job Hunting 3.0: Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the modern age (E-book and paper book by Richard Maun, a visiting fellow at a leading UK university)