Social media can be an incredible tool to connect you to your friends and the world around you. With it being so pervasive, it is hard to find anyone that isn’t wired into at least one of the popular sharing platforms. In addition, most businesses now have social media pages and many will post new job openings on their accounts, making it a certain tool in the hunt for a new position.

For as much good as social media can do, there are also many pitfalls. For some job seekers, social media can unknowingly sabotage their job search. Here are few of tips to avoid letting social media mistakes get the best of you.

Your Social Media Image Is Unprofessional or Offensive

Presenting an unprofessional image online is one of the easiest ways to ensure you won’t land the job you’re after. Today, it is a foregone conclusion that many employers will investigate your social media profiles to determine whether the image you presented in an interview matches your typical personality on a daily basis.

If your profile demonstrates that you party hard and are generally unprofessional, that will be a red flag to employers. Similarly, if your profile is littered with inflammatory or offensive posts, rest assured that employers will not be interested in hiring you. Businesses do not want unprofessional or offensive individuals becoming part of their company culture, which is why it is important to maintain an engaging social media presence that remains professional at all times.

Don’t Insult Past Employers and Bosses

If you insulted past bosses or workplace environments, what guarantee does your future employer have that you would not do the same to their company? Former employees who speak negatively about their past work experience can do damage to that company’s brand.

As a result, making inflammatory and insulting comments about past employers or bosses is one of the quickest ways to be ruled out for a position. Same goes for any type of interview situation. Treat your past experiences positively as learning opportunities and don’t get caught up in complaining about your previous or current position.

Pessimists Beware

Employers look for employees who embrace positivity since pessimists are generally not desirable to be around in a working environment. Social media posts should be engaging and upbeat since this will present an image of a future employee that other people will want to be around.

As a job seeker, focus on tailoring your profiles to highlight genuine passions and hobbies that present an authentic portrait of who you really are.

Adhere to the Wisdom of Shakespeare

In the immortal words of Shakespeare, “To thine own self be true.” This is especially true where job seekers and social media profiles are concerned.

Employers will want to see that the person they met in an interview behaves similarly outside of job interviews. Embrace who you truly are and employers will value the fact that you present an authentic sense of self outside of the workplace and in a job interview.

Don’t Be Afraid to Engage

Finally, while most social media mistakes involve what not to do, you can absolutely help your chances of landing a job by building a compelling profile. Don’t let the fear of social media mistakes prevent you from creating a captivating online presence.

A bland and boring profile in the name of avoiding major mistakes could signal that you are not an engaging person to work around. For some fields; marketing, advertising and other professions dealing with business communications; showing that you understand the modern communications landscape can be a convincing tactic.

By maintaining an active social media presence and creating interesting online conversations, you will demonstrate to employers that you know how to connect well with others.

Having a great social media presence may not guarantee you will get a job. But, a bad one can do the opposite quite easily. Think before you post and remember, while you are searching for a job, make social media a tool instead of a hindrance.