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How to Clean Up Your Facebook Profile for Potential Employers

Make sure hiring managers don't find anything damaging on your Facebook profile with these tips.


  • Step 1: Don't be so available Review your privacy settings for connecting on Facebook. Consider whether you'd want a potential employer to have access to your friend list, or see your likes, dislikes, and other connections. If the answer is no, make sure your setting for those options reads friends only. If you want to display your education degrees, on the other hand, make sure "Everyone" can see your credentials.
  • TIP: Don't restrict your search settings so much that a future employer can't find you at all; you don't want them to think you're living in the last century!
  • Step 2: Choose what you share It may be wise to limit access to information like status updates, photos, and other posts; photos and videos you're tagged in; places you check in to; and religious and political views. You can also remove or edit any potentially controversial information from those areas. If you're concerned about age discrimination, don't include the year you were born. Choose what you share
  • Step 3: Post strategically Consider adding information that can make you more attractive to potential employers -- such as hobbies and interests that dovetail with the industry you're in or are trying to join.
  • Step 4: Review Facebook photos Even if you've restricted most elements of your Facebook profile to friends only, play it safe by reviewing all photos of yourself and removing or untagging any pictures you wouldn't want a human resources department to see. Make sure your profile photo is attractive and projects maturity.
  • TIP: More than half of human resource workers surveyed cited provocative or inappropriate photos and information as the biggest reason they didn't hire someone.
  • Step 5: Hide friends Review your Facebook profile's Wall. Potential employers will judge you by the company you keep, so hide any posts or friends who might reflect badly on you. Move your cursor to the right side of a post you want to remove, click the "X" that appears, then click on "Hide this post" to remove just that item, or "Hide all by" to remove all posts by that friend.
  • Step 6: Proceed cautiously Now that you've cleaned up your Facebook profile for potential employers, proceed cautiously with future postings. And, whatever your status update, don't use emoticons to express yourself: 12 percent of employers who use Facebook as a screening method say they would not hire someone who uses them. :(
  • FACT: 18 percent of employers have found content on social networking sites that caused them to hire a candidate.

You Will Need

  • Privacy settings
  • Strategic interests
  • Appropriate profile photo
  • Discretion

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