You’re smart enough to know that your social media presence has a lot of clout when it comes to job hunting, or even just keeping the job that you have. So what happens when you drunk tweet, or post a status update in the heat of anger, or accidentally post a risque Instagram? It all depends on how you handle it. Here’s how to minimize your social media damage.
1. Figure out who saw what. Check your Twitter analytics to see if your tweet actually went viral. If it only has a dozen impressions, and no retweets, that’s good news. As far as Facebook goes, its algorithms change pretty often, but generally, it tailors what’s visible to whom based on their interactions with that person. For example, if you’ve never liked your boss’s posts, you may be a little less likely to show up in her feed depending on how many friends she has.
2. Hide any evidence. Delete whatever questionable Trump meme or blackout drunk photo or c-word-laden status update you posted. If someone else posted it? Untag it (you can do at least that much on your own) and message them begging, bribing, and wheedling to delete it entirely. While you’re at it, adjust your privacy settings and get rid of anything else incriminating that could come up down the line.
3. Keep it quiet. If you get to work and no one mentions whatever you wrote or looks at you funny? Let it go. Don’t ask questions that could lead to more potential drama.
4. If someone else brings it up, apologize in person. Doing so via email or phone may not be able to convey the tone you’re going for. Another important factor in your apology? Don’t say “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” or the like. It sounds like you’re not sorry for what you did, but sorry that you got caught doing it by someone who doesn’t have a sense of humor.