It’s easy to forget when you’re posting on Facebook, but your employers might be able to see what you’re doing—and use it to make a decision on the future of your career. In fact, the National Labor Relations Board ruled several years ago that you can be fired for social media posts, while more and more employers admit to searching job candidates’ profiles before hiring them. But what should you do if you’ve already posted something embarrassing and potentially career-damaging on Facebook?
Financial planning website LearnVest published a guide this week to help you cope with just that. If you’re in damage control mode on Facebook, you should immediately go to your Activity Log. From there, you can delete your post, hide it and untag yourself from photos. You should also change your privacy settings so that you can review any posts your friends tag you in before they show up on your timeline. You can also go back to your normal posting pattern, and eventually bury any embarrassing content. Experts also recommend searching yourself online to get a better sense of what other people might see if they look you up.
However, while it may be tempting to nuke your social media profile completely following an embarrassing incident, experts caution against such a drastic action.
“Shutting down an account admits defeat and basically looks like you are hiding from the issue you caused,” said Bill Fish of ReputationManagement.com. “Why delete any good will you have built with your posts over the years? Simply go in and scrub your account to get rid of anything that could be offensive.”
Posting something risqué on your Facebook profile isn’t ideal, but thankfully there are steps you can take to limit the damage.