Social Media and Employment



Social Media controls our lives, connects us to others, and according to research is now a detrimental factor in employment termination. Who knew Facebook and Twitter could get us fired? Our Facebook profiles can either portray our social resume in a flattering light or they can reveal unflattering and scandalous things about ourselves that can get us fired. “Although it is viewed as more of a truly social network as compared to LinkedIn, employers are still checking you out, trying to develop a better picture of you as a candidate,” said the Director of Career Services at Purdue University, Shelly Robinson.

Not only does Facebook have an impact in getting hired for your dream job, it also has an affect on your current job. If you post any disrespectful or harmful content about the organization you work for you can expect a prompt termination. This is the case for 3 individuals who got fired through the use of social media:

1.     The Taco Bell Scandal

An image of a Taco Bell employee licking a stack of taco shells at the famous fast food restaurant went viral during the summer of 2013.


2.     Denver Math Teacher’s Tweets

Carly McKinney was a tenth-grade math teacher who was asked to leave the school after she had an inappropriate Facebook account in which she would tweet pictures of her smoking marijuana and posting about her “hot” students. 

3.     California Pizza Kitchen Server

California Pizza Kitchen server Timothy DeLaGhetto posted a YouTube video claiming he was terminated due to complaining about his company’s uniform on Twitter.

According to the Hiffongton Post, “The site’s users can sometimes be a bit too open, posting pictures, opinions, videos, and jokes via the social networking site that give employers pause—and employees the boot.” The University of Florida has developed a list of general tips which will portray your social media accounts in a professional light:

  • Choose your “friends” wisely

They can upload, tag, and post inappropriate things on your profile.

  • Post content with discernment

People are always watching especially employees who you are involved with

  • Never use Facebook as an outlet for frustration

Political positions and disagreements should not take place across social networks

  • Take advantage of Facebook as a networking tool
  • Spend time learning about privacy settings

Overall, the way in which we use our social media pages impacts not only the way other see us but also has an effect on our professional career.



Bosker, Bianca. “Fired Over Facebook: 13 Posts That Got People CANNED.” The Huffington Post., 26 July 2010. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.



Broderick, Ryan. “10 People Who Learned Social Media Can Get You Fired.” CNN. Cable News

Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.



“Maintaining Professionalism on Facebook: Tips for Extension Agents1.” EDIS New Publications

RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2014. <;.

5 thoughts on “Social Media and Employment

  1. This post is extremely relevant to most college students. Social media has many dangers and side effects of things being posted online as can be seen in the few of the many examples above. It is important that we remember that anything that is put online could potentially be there forever and found by future employers. On top of that I recently learned that not only do employers look at the content on your page but they also look to see who you are friends with. At this point it is mainly for data mining purposes but in the future I can see it being used by employers to determine who you are hanging around with.


  2. I don’t think that enough people take what they post on Facebook or Twitter seriously, especially since what we post online is there forever and for everyone to see. It’s unprofessional and irresponsible to post anything that paints either you or your employers in a negative light.


  3. This is very relevant to what we talked about today in class when talking about privacy on the internet and how companies use our information to sell products. In the internet, there is barely any privacy and anything that goes on it is somewhat permanent, so it is definitely essential that we are careful with how we portray ourselves on the internet, especially when talking about potential jobs and the workforce. The tips you provided from the University of Florida are really good things to consider as internet users.


  4. Regardless of your employment, you need to be careful of what you post. It is a world wide platform. Do not say anything you would not say in person or in public.


  5. It is still shocking to me that, after the examples you have listed plus countless others, people still continue to post to social media without a second thought. People genuinely do not realize how easy it is to track down a person in the Web 2.0 world, and many fail to remember that what we post on the Internet is visible to every Internet user, and maintains an eternal life on the Web.


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