Male Teenage Student Sitting Outside On College Steps Using Mobile Phone

Be smart about what you put online, especially as you get out there and start looking for jobs and housing. Everything you post becomes part of how employers, landlords, and others see you. Also be smart about who you “friend” online.

Before going social with what’s on your mind:

  • Can you live without posting this? The answer is always yes.
  • Grandma rule: If you would be embarrassed to share something with your grandma, you probably shouldn’t post it.
  • When you apply for certain jobs (law enforcement and political campaigns, for example) the companies may have programs that can access your information even if your profile is set to private. So if you’re worried about it, don’t post it!

Here are some other tips based on platform.


  • When picking a profile picture or cover photo, avoid ones that include alcohol, partying or anything that would make an employer think twice about hiring you (same goes for Twitter and Instagram).
  • Set your profile to private and make sure your posts are only being shared with friends. Facebook even lets your preview what your profile looks like to other people.
  • When it comes to posting or sharing, pick photos and videos that reflect you and your interests in a positive way.
  • Go through your pictures and if there are any that you wouldn’t want an employer to see, untag them immediately.
  • Set up timeline review. When you get tagged in a picture, you will get notified and you can decide if you want the picture to show up on your timeline.
  • If someone else posted a picture of you that you aren’t comfortable with, ask them to remove it.

Twitter and Instagram

  • Make sure your bio has nothing that would make an employer think negatively of you or your lifestyle. They don’t need to know that you “sleep all day and party all night.”
  • Keep in mind who you follow and what you tweet, retweet, comment or like says a lot about you! Everything from what kind of movies and music you like to your political beliefs.
  • Avoid posting things that are inflammatory or inappropriate. Don’t comment on inappropriate photos on Instagram.
  • Consider protecting your tweets and photos, so only the people you approve will see them.


  • Keep in mind the photos that you thought could only be seen for a few seconds can be photographed or turned into a screenshot and come back to haunt you weeks later.
  • Be smart when it comes to who you share with and what you’re sharing.