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Will Facebook Photos Harm Your Career?

I’m not very active on Facebook [1]. I try, but it’s just something I don’t really get the hang of. In fact, I find it strange to look at friends’ photos, profiles, and posts without them knowing I’m in their business. Almost like I’m eavesdropping on their conversation. (I just recently found out this actually has a name: Facebook creeping!)

I realize that my complete lack of Facebook skills is somewhat similar to my parents and their inability to operate a VCR when I was little. When it was trendy in college to email and IM people, I never thought I’d age out of technology… or for it to happen so soon!

When Internet Photos Lose You the Job

But there is one thing that concerns me about Facebook (or any social media for that matter): permanently documenting your not-so-great-moments for the world (and all future employers) to see.

For example, when we were interviewing landscape architects [2] to work on our patio, one of the architects looked familiar.

A quick Google search turned up Landon Lueck from the Real World [3]. Okay, so life after the Real World turned into landscape architecture… but my search also turned up photos of Landon in his underwear [4], and a mug shot from assaulting a horse [5].

Even though the internet photos had no relation to his current career, I couldn’t take the guy seriously. We went with another company that appeared (at least on the surface) to have more qualifications.

Facebook and Your Career

Now, whenever I hire someone, a babysitter for the kids, a writer for My Dollar Plan, or in my past life as a manager at a Forture 500 company, the very first thing I do is check out their internet photos, posts, and profiles.

So to the new graduates [6] out there, who are focusing on making the best first impression with a new suit, my guess is you already gave your future employer their first impression when they checked out your Facebook page. Was it the first impression you wanted to give?

Your Thoughts?

Now, maybe I’m just starting to show my age. I realize that social media is here to stay, but I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one who is judging a Facebook photo of an intoxicated college kid and thinking I’d rather hire someone else. (In all fairness, I’m not saying I didn’t have a great time in college, there just isn’t a photo trail for employers to check out.)

As the concerned sister-in-law to young college kids with crazy Facebook photos, I just felt like I had to give some sisterly advice….

Do you think Facebook photos will harm the careers of new graduates?


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