Because social media is often used for personal uses in addition to professional ones, it is easy to see how people could make mistakes. Some of the mistakes below could cost you getting hired. Others might cost you a promotion or even result in you being fired. But don't worry - once you read about these common social media mistakes, you will be able to avoid them like a pro.

Photographic Faux Pas

Profile Picture: Whenever choosing your profile picture for a social media profile, you want to choose something that shows you and only you. You do not want to choose a group photo because it will be difficult for an employer to discern which person is you. You also want to make sure that you are being appropriate in the photo. That means no photos of you partying, even if you are over 21 (yes, people do get rejected for this reason).

Visual Content: Use it! If there is an opportunity to appropriately include a photo, video, or infographic, it is in your best interest to include it in your post. Studies have shown that people click on posts with visual content far more often than posts without visual content.

Inappropriate Pictures: Just like with your profile photo, you want to avoid inappropriate content in your general photo collections. You shouldn't be partying, fighting, or doing anything else you wouldn't want your grandma to see.

Textual Faux Pas

Inappropriate Posts: You want to avoid having posts with inappropriate content - whether it is by you or a friend. Examples of inappropriate posts include posts with profanity, hateful comments, or too much negativity (especially if that negativity is directly to your past or current job). You also need to avoid posting company secrets. Although you may or may not be dealing with secrets on the level of the CIA, you still will be privy to inside information at your organization. If the information you have isn't on the website or public in some other way, you probably want to keep it off of your social media. You also want to have posts that are strong examples of your communication skills. Try to avoid posts that are heavy in texting-lingo or posts that avoid punctuation.

Posting at Work: This is an obvious thing you shouldn't be doing at work (unless your job requires it). Facebook time stamps your activity, so if you are on facebook during working hours, your coworkers will know.

Faking Sick: Faking sick is not a good idea in general, but it's an even worse idea if you are going to fake sick and then post about your awesome and healthy day on social media.

Controversial Posts - There are many controversial topics in the world. You are allowed to have opinions and allowed to be political, but make sure that you are also thinking about how your posts could look to an employer. Be aware that posting on controversial topics could result in discrimination.

Conflicting information - If your resume says you went to U of A and your facebook says you went to ASU Jonesboro, there is a red flag for employers that you are not being truthful somewhere. At the very least, it is showing that you did not pay enough attention to the details.

Settings Faux Pas

Lax Security Settings - Make sure that your privacy settings are set in a manner that facilitates smart facebook usage. There are lots of ways to limit what people see on your facebook profile, but you must adjust your settings to make this happen.