I've heard of employers searching applicants' Facebook profiles and was wondering if anything can be done about it? Facebook no longer has the option to make profiles unsearchable. I've tried setting minimum visibility, but checking from a non-friend account, I can still see quite a bit of my information. I certainly don't put anything embarrassing on my Facebook account, but, nonetheless, I don't make it for a professional representation and don't want it used as such. It's against Facebook's policy to use a fake name and I don't have any nicknames (or alternative spellings) I can use.

EDIT: for those saying "only post material that's alright for the public to see", then what constitutes "OK" for an employer? For example, should I not have a picture of myself responsibly enjoying a beer at a bar on Facebook? I have some pictures of me swimming, would it be unbeneficial to have an prospective employer see pictures with my shirt off?

  • 3
    Perhaps you could remove the information that you don't want the world to see?
    – Masked Man
    Mar 5, 2015 at 4:07
  • In answer to your edit, I don't think either is unacceptable. The rule I'd use is, would I be embarassed if someone showed the posting to my mother? no - fine, yes - if you need to post don't do it publicly. Mar 5, 2015 at 23:20

4 Answers 4


There is a simple answer for this (although I admit it might not help you directly in your current situation):

Don't post anything on a public site that you would be embarassed for someone to see

Think about how your mother would feel when you post something, or friend someone.

You may think you are an adult, and can do what you like, but as you can see even with security, it's possible to find it if they want to (and the people who do these checks do it for a living so it'll be more than looking at it from a public account)

If you don't want it seen don't post it, or keep to a private forum.

This is the reality of a social media world.


I changed my Facebook name to something humorous/nonsensical. You can still get there by typing facebook.com/my.real.name so I don't know how well that works with searching but I guess it's less obvious. That was before I abandoned it anyway.

You should expect potential employers to see all public profiles of yours. These sites often have privacy settings, which you should fiddle with if you'd rather not have them snooping about your private life. Just remember nothing is private unless you explicitly make it so.

  • 2
    I've been taught that, once you upload something on-line, it's completely public, no matter what site you post it on, and what hardcore walls of privacy it has.
    – Sharain
    Mar 5, 2015 at 10:15
  • 1
    Abandoning the account may not be enough. You should purge everything from it, then delete the account. Of course that may not stop your content from existing in other users accounts. Mar 5, 2015 at 12:46

I'd advise you to have a deeper look at those security settings. When I was looking for my first job after college I changed them, now all non-friend people can see are my name and profile picture. Just make sure you aren't naked on this picture and you'll be fine


I was never really part of a social network. The only exception was for signing in to other sites.

Here's something to think about: The most talented people I ever met didn't have a LinkedIn profile and when practically forced to create one by the company, then it was a one-liner in the required fields. Social Networks are horrible waste of time and usually evolve into something you regret.

  • 2
    Mark Zuckerberg down-voted my post!
    – user32685
    Mar 17, 2015 at 20:36

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