The 5 Social Media Habits That Turn Off Recruiters the Most

May 17, 2017, 3:00 AM UTC

This article originally appeared on

If you’re in the middle of a job search, you likely already know that your social media pages need to be free of any incriminating activity, otherwise you risk waving red flags in the face of hiring managers, bullfighter-style.

In fact, nearly one in five employers have turned down a candidate because of social media, according to a report by YouGov, a UK-based market research company, which surveyed more than 2,000 business decision makers.

Of course, you know you probably shouldn’t publicly post those pics from last night’s rager—and yes, 47% of recruiters do indeed frown on party photos, and 71% just say no to drug references, in case you were wondering—but the survey revealed some more surprising mistakes we all might be making with our social profiles, even when we’re stone cold sober.

Here are some surprising finds:

  1. What could be worse for your professional reputation than posting a picture of yourself ripping shots while wearing a rhinestone tiara?Answer: Spelling mistakes and grammar errors.That’s right: The survey found that 56% of employers would put the brakes on hiring someone whose social media posts regularly confuse there, their, and they’re. That’s a whopping nine percentage points higher than drunk pics.If you’re not already, get used to checking your spelling and grammar each and every time you have something to post.
  2. Cursing is bad. Really bad. As in, really, really #@*&!@# bad. The survey found that a recruiter’s No. 1 social media turn-off is swearing, with 75% saying profane language would discourage them from hiring someone whose mouth could use a good washing out. That’s right: Foul language is a heck of a lot more likely to wreck your chances of a job than ample visual evidence of keg stands. Better get your @&*# together and watch what you say, otherwise you risk losing the job offer—and then you’ll really have something to @#&% about.
  3. It turns out there is such a thing as posting too many selfies—and it could be the reason you’re having a hard time finding a job. The survey found that 26% of respondents think it’s bad form to post too many photos of yourself, as this might signal that you’re too self-centered or not a team player. Regardless of how good you look today (and tomorrow and the next day), curb your selfie shots.
  4. You might think retweeting influencers, news, or even your dream company will earn you brownie points in your job search by showing employers just how plugged in you are, but recruiters see right through that when you start to over-share links and photos. In the survey, 29% of employers said they don’t like it when you share too many links and photos on social media. Try coming up with original posts, instead.More from
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  5. Expressing your politics on social media can be a risky undertaking—and we’re not just talking about potential clashes with your relatives. While it’s great that you feel strongly about certain issues, you could be putting your job offers in jeopardy if hiring managers have equally strong opposing views. While your politics may not impact your on-the-job performance capabilities, 29% of employers said they still don’t want to hear about your political views on social media.