by Kimsua Lam
In the trash bin you go if careless grammatical errors riddle your resume, or poor judgment makes an appearance when choosing a username for your email address to use for professional purposes. Those were my thoughts a few years ago as I searched for new hires to bring on to my team. It’s astounding how little shame some people have when they choose to use email addresses with usernames like “downa5sgurl” or “playafolyfe” as contacts for professional resumes.
I can guarantee at least a dozen resumes made friends with crumpled up wrappers from lunch, old chewing gum, empty boxes that once held office supplies, and – oh yeah – neglect.
About a year later, I was helping one of my peers search for a new office manager. We went as far as researching the candidate’s social media networks and anything else we could find about the person on the internet. And let me tell you, they play a big factor in the decision-making process. I would say about eight out of ten resumes were discarded because of something we found online that didn’t coincide with professionalism.
Even the “personality” that is perceived on your social media accounts can affect whether or not you get hired for a job. If your posts are always dark and depressing and mostly entail you complaining about things, do you really think an employer would feel motivated to hire you right away? Or would it make more sense to hire someone with a good attitude because that good energy will translate into good customer service skills?
These are the questions you should ask yourself when posting about your “personal” life because your “personal” life may not be as private as you think.
I find that the younger generation has a harder time coming to grips with that kind of reality because social media has become a strong platform for freedom of speech. Opinions fly left and right without heed or caution. Privacy levels provide a “shield” for photos and posts that may not want to make friends with the public. But, unbeknownst to them, anything on the internet can be retrieved.
Take for example, the comments of McDonald’s employees in response to a customer’s video that entailed calling the customer a “low life” and recommending she “go run on a treadmill.” Even though the video post was done by the customer, the comments these McDonald’s employees made were what cost them their jobs. These remarks are blatantly rude and unprofessional – where did common sense go?