Being Professional on Facebook

Being Professional on Facebook

Social media and Facebook is a big player in the professional world now. Almost everyone at some point has had a profile and more and more companies are looking at profiles before making a hiring decision. Why is it so important? Nowadays, your role at a company doesn’t end when you clock out, you represent them in some capacity all the time. Think about how many times we’ve heard news stories about “X Company employee spews racist beliefs online.” Companies are being more careful with who they are tying their reputations to.

Being Careful on Facebook

I’m not saying that you have to pretend that Facebook is just like LinkedIn now and is strictly for professional things. Don’t feel like you have to scrub your personal life, everyone knows that Facebook was invented for socializing. Just be intentional with it.

The basic rule of thumb is that if it would offend the stereotypical grandmother, you shouldn’t hit the post button. Don’t post pictures from partying in college, be wary of using vulgar language too. There are plenty of things to avoid on social media. Keep in mind that private settings are not enough to protect you from being excluded from an opportunity. Here are some more helpful tips about common social media mistakes.

Don’t Forget to Work Backwards

So you’re being smarter about what you’re sharing now, that’s great! But what about when you first got on Facebook in the ninth grade? Facebook actually makes it pretty easy to clean out your page, if you know where to look.


Cleaning up photos you’ve posted is important. Remove anything that doesn’t show you in the best light. Don’t want to delete something entirely? That’s fine, you can change the privacy settings so that you’re the only person that can see individual photos (Psst… this works with posts too but we’ll cover that in a moment).


Going through old posts does take some time. Using your activity log on your profile, you can look through older content and delete and privatize anything that may not help you. This can take a bit of time depending on how long you’ve been on the platform and how often you’ve posted, but this is the best way to clean up your page immediately. If you’re not worried about cleaning it up for a job interview next week, there is a slower way that takes less effort. Every day, make a habit of checking the Memories section on your timeline. This is what I do every morning, it shows me what I’ve posted on this date every year. At most it’s a handful of posts to go through and I can delete or hide what I want.

Guarding Your Timeline

You’ve made better habits about posting online and you’ve cleaned up your old posts, you’re done now right? Not quite. Maybe it’s just my friends and family, but I’m often tagged in stupid videos and meme content that is automatically put on my Timeline. While these are sometimes funny and I like them, do I want my little brothers being able to share something a future employer might judge me based on? Nope! Good news is there’s an easy solution.

I use the Timeline Review setting on my page. Follow the link to show you how to set it up, but basically my friends and little brothers can still tag me to whatever they want. The difference is that while it may show up on my news feed, it’s not on my Timeline unless I give it approval. News feeds disappear and I’m not worried about that. What I don’t want is all 50 videos of minions paired with motivational quotes that my aunt tagged me in to be the first impression someone has of me.

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