Even more than your resume, your social media profile speaks volumes about who you are as a person.

Employers are now taking to social media to get a sneak peek into your life, your beliefs and most importantly your actions. Right or wrong, social media can make or break that interview. Don’t let it!

Instead check out 5 common mistakes that job-seekers are making right now on social media.

  1. Making Your Profile Private: Although it’s certainly your prerogative, a private profile appears like you have something to hide. You’re probably just being internet savvy and practicing online safety but employers will gravitate to those people who are open and transparent. I recommend adjusting your settings to allow some of your posts to show; truth is, if you’re online, privacy doesn’t really exist but that’s a different debate. Opening up your profile shows them you’re all-in and screams ‘get to know me’.
  2. Not Having a Photo: It shouldn’t matter what you look like at all yet having a photo matters. Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate but if left to choose between two candidates they are more likely to choose the one they’ve seen. We can’t help it we’re visual people. If you’re not comfortable with a photo of yourself go for a shot of your furry friend or a motivating quote…it’s better than a blank space.
  3. Criticizing and Complaining: If you’re the type of person that rants online about your boss, company and co-workers you’re in trouble. First of all, STOP! There’s enough negativity online without you contributing to it. Sure you can argue it’s your page you’ll post what you want and you can; I promise you’ll regret it. If you are truly looking to better your career or seek meaningful employment you will regret it. Employers are not going to hire someone that trashes the business, lacks professionalism and is difficult to be around.
  4. Illegal Activity or Nudity: Bad idea! First of all, if you’re sharing illegal activity you are inviting the police to come to your door and will be dealing with worse things than needing employment. Employers look at you as a representative of their business and most want someone who is going to represent them in a positive light. No one is perfect; you have to play it smart. Remove those photos, stop playing chicken with the law and pull it together. It’s time to clean up your act, clean up your page, land that job and change your life.
  5. Jumping the Gun:  It’s not uncommon for applicants to make an assumption they got the job and then start posting on social media, big mistake! Without thinking it through they start tagging the company, the employees or making posts about the interview etc. This type of activity can put the company in an awkward position especially before a job offer has been made. It’s best to keep it close to the vest; you’ll have plenty of time to update Facebook once you’ve started working there.

No matter what type of position you are aiming for all employers want to work with talented people who work smart, know how to conduct themselves and are pleasant to be around. You’ve already gotten the resume and cover letter prepared, now take the time to get social media ready. Avoid these mistakes and you’ll already be ahead of the game, good luck on that job search.