Keeping it Clean on Social Media

Yes, you’ve heard it before, probably at least a million times since you started law school, and probably at least a million more times before you make it out of law school.  Why?  Because it is so much more important than we realize.

I have to admit, my social media is pretty clean.  I just don’t use it all that often, and when I do, typically I’m trolling for cat videos or dog shaming photos or something brilliant like that.  So when I hear about employers looking at it, I might be doing a mental eye roll and forgetting about it.


What made me sit up and take notice was when MY employer let me know that a new hire had been “unhired” before the start date.  Why?  The employer had googled the new person and didn’t like what came up.  By the way, the employer is over 60 but one of the coolest (read non-conservative, non-judgey) people I know.

So are they honestly looking?  And if they are, what is the bad stuff?  Cussing, political posts?

Yes!  According to a 2014 CareerBuilder survey, more employers are using social media to search prospective employees every year, and finding more and more reasons not to hire.

Among the things that may lead an employer to pass on you are:

  • Provocative pics or info
  • Posts about drinking and drugs
  • Posts complaining about previous employers or coworkers
  • Unprofessional screen names (on personal pages!)
  • Proof that you lied about a previous absence

Most of us would probably never post anything overtly bad, but these don’t seem that bad.  I bet we’ve all got a funny law school meme that maybe says something about going to class unprepared or maybe funny drinking things.  While you may know it’s a joke, is someone else looking at it and thinking “maybe this person won’t be prepared with my clients?’  You’ll never know, because they probably won’t tell you that it was just that silly law school meme that you snatched and reposted from another site.

You can find the survey here:

Check it out.  You may want to do a little spring (or late winter) cleaning on your social media!