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Asked by Tanya on February 5, 2017

I was passionate about a number of social causes in college and spent time organizing rallies and protesting. Will this sort of “anti-establishment” activity hurt my chances with future employers? Should I take the photos down from my Facebook page/blog?

Answered by Stuart, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on February 21, 2017

Hello! This is a great question and the answer depends somewhat on the career field and role you are looking to enter. It is always a good idea to revisit your privacy settings on Facebook when beginning a job search. You probably don’t want the picture of you as the life of the party popping up to potential employers. That being said, the skills obtained planning and organizing rallies is a transferable skill. Many employers look for candidates that are able to translate passion into action whether it is volunteer or paid. It depends on the company and role if using these examples is the best route to take. A good idea is to research a potential employer. Many employers have a very progressive social responsibility position and usually have it on their website. This process may also help you decide if you are a good fit for the culture of the organization.

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Answered by Claire, Hiring Expert at American Express, on May 12, 2017

There are many ways in which you can spin these experiences to positively reflect on your skill set and your ability to lead. Regardless of your chosen industry the ability to influence others and garner support from your team or those outside your team is a very valuable skill. Employers want to see that you can build connections and elicit passion in others and keeping teammates motivated and on target is not easy for everyone. Additionally, your ability to organize an event and juggle multiple priorities at once will serve you well in a fast paced environment.
As for the Facebook pictures, I would take down anything that could be considered vulgar or inappropriate.
Hope this was helpful!

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