Easy ways to weed out your worst social media embarrassments

(@hornbuckleth) |

This post is for college students like me. How would you like to get a job? I’m sorry, what I said was…



Ok, you don’t think it’s a big deal to clean up your Facebook or Twitter. That’s fine, but here are some things to consider:

  • A survey conducted by Jobvite showed that 92% of companies used or plan to use social media for recruiting this year.
  • A survey conducted by careerbuilder.com, found 37% of companies use social networks when doing a background check.
  • 54% of employers react negatively when they see grammar or spelling mistakes in social media profiles.
  • The average cost per hire using the Internet is $377, compared to $3,295 using traditional methods of media.

Employers are more likely to take a more affordable route to finding the right employee, before they even start paying to train you.

Yes, clearing your Facebook and Twitter history could take forever by trying to search out every inappropriate post. Fortunately there is a solution to this problem.

What’s the solution?

SimpleWash is a free app that can help you clean your Facebook and Twitter profiles. It flags questionable status updates, tweets, or comments on photos that you may not want a potential employer to see. SimpleWash also searches out profanities on any type of post that has your name attached to it. One of the coolest features is the ability to search specific words. This way you can search the name of a company that you’re applying to and make sure you’ve haven’t previously bad-mouthed them. SimpleWash is easy to use, and it takes only a matter of seconds to scan your pages. You can run SimpleWash however many times you want, free of charge. It doesn’t go through your personal messages, post anything for you, or have the ability to update your profile or access your password.

How do you use SimpleWash?

1) Log in through the website.


2) Allow SimpleWash to sort through your profile.


3) Click start washing, and SimpleWash brings anything even slightly offensive to your attention.


4) Choose whatever material you want to remove. There’s a column for categories that shows you wherever you have any flagged material, so it gives you a chance to quickly reminisce and remove.


When I used the app, one of my results was a caption on a photo at a football game (which I later removed).


Is there another way?

Lots of people change their name on social media (Example: Hom Tornbuckle instead of Tom Hornbuckle) as it helps you hide from schools and even employers.

Also, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Chances are they might have a connection with a future employer, or they could be recruiters in disguise. Even if they aren’t, they still have access to everything you post, which may not be a good thing given that many of us are over sharers.



Are there Any Flaws?

SimpleWash doesn’t have the accessibility to recognize your not-so-professional photos yet. And more than half of employers are more dissuaded by a bad Facebook photo (one that shows vulgar hand gestures or drug or alcohol use) than a spelling or grammatical mistake in a comment or status. I’m not sure if recognizing photos is something that is coming soon or if captions will be the only part of the photo flagged on SimpleWash.



Also, sorting through your social media along with other potential candidates’ social media profiles for a job can be too time-consuming for a future employer to do. SimpleWash is too strict sometimes. The app will detect words but not the context in which they are being used. Here are examples that showed up when several of my co-workers used the app:

Pat posted a picture of his Jeep:


Kyle’s friend mentioned a skate board trick:


Olivia liked a TV show:


SimpleWash cleans a little too much. But much like when you’re cleaning your dorm room, you find things you don’t want to throw out, but your room could use a cleaning either way.

Is cleaning your social media that big of a deal?

Yes, social media can destroy your personal image faster than doing something embarrassing in person. Even if someone sees you do something stupid in person, unless he/she films it, only that person and whoever he/she tells will know about it. By posting embarrassing and absurd comments on the Internet, you’re throwing yourself under the bus to an unlimited audience and waiting for someone to laugh at or criticize you.

So if you are about to apply for a job or have left your father’s friend request pending for a month and he is concerned you don’t want to be his friend, SimpleWash is the right app for you.



Do you think you would use SimpleWash?

Let us know in the comments.

About The Author:Tom Hornbuckle
Tom is a marketing major at St. Bonaventure University and is currently interning with Mainstreethost's inbound marketing department.