HW: #TuesdayThoughts; A secret you need to know when looking for a job.

Over the weekend, I had a short discussion with a friend on the topic of my job. The conclusion was that I do not think me quitting work and living off of my savings is the right path for me at this time. However, I did come up with a vague deadline for when I will return to this discussion if certain changes at my workplace are not made. For now, I have high hopes. Although, being a realist, I am not holding my breath. We shall see. Everything in due time.

For a brief moment, I thought of life where I would be able to sleep all I wanted. A life where alarm clocks would be unemployed. One where I could dedicate most of my time to writing, editing and revamping my blog. I will not deny that it seemed like a fantastic life for me.

All of that made me think about the hiring process. Looking for a job was never a walk in a park for me, and just thinking about it causes me anxiety. There used to be a time when qualifications were what set the best candidate apart from the rest. We have known for a while that that is no longer the case. Knowing someone might take you further in life than your knowledge and skills. Having a bit of luck does help. However, in the world of the Internet and social media, things have only become more bizarre.

I wrote a post about the changes made to the university admission process a while back. Check out University admissions – Is it getting easier or more difficult to get in? to see what you might have to do in order to be accepted into a prestigious university here in the U.S.

The last time I was looking for a job, I read plenty of articles warning me about the potential ramifications of a negative reputation on social media. It might not matter that you are the most qualified person for a certain job if your life outside of work is less than stellar. All of a sudden, bosses care about you getting drunk on a Friday night. They do not want someone “irresponsible.” They also care about the things you might post on Twitter. God forbid you say something that might not be in line with the company’s values. Yet another example of “freedom of speech” and corporate slavery.

As I read these articles, I could not help but smile. At least that was something I did not have to worry about because my social media footprint is minimal, if not non-existent. I realize that now I have my blog and if it was linked to me, I might be in hot water. However, back then, I had nothing to fear. It was hard for me to comprehend that some of my colleagues posted all sorts of less-than-stellar photos and messages on their social media platforms and they did not have any fear of retribution.

A couple of years ago, a co-worker of mine asked me if I knew a certain thing about the new hire. I did not.
How do YOU know that?” – I asked.
It’s all over their Facebook” – my co-worker replied.
Oh” – was my reaction.
People get to know people behind their backs. They prefer to browse the Internet instead of engaging in a conversation with a person of interest. 

Some people do not care about what the Internet says about them. Some go and delete anything that could make them look bad when they are looking for a new job. I chose not to worry about any of that I withdraw from social media. Do you think that increases my chances of getting the job? Apparently, no it does not. It actually HURTS my chances.

Potential employers do not pay too much attention to resumes. They prefer to have someone go online and discover the real you. Career Builder conducted a study last year, and they found out that: “Nearly half of employers (47 percent) say that if they can’t find a job candidate online, they are less likely to call that person in for an interview – 28 percent say that is because they like to gather more information before calling in a candidate for an interview; 20 percent say they expect candidates to have an online presence.” How many employers are looking? Last year it was 70%, with almost 10% vowing to start that practice. That is HUGE! (The results are really mind-boggling. If you wish to read what you should and should not have on your social media, click –> HERE <–.)

Is it fair to be paid for 40h per week, while you are being under your employer’s scrutiny 168h a week? Are you no longer allowed to do whatever you wish outside of work? Sure, I do not condone idiotic social media content, but I think you should be able to enjoy yourself once you are off the clock. Most of us are not spokespeople for the company we work at.

Do not worry if your online presence is less than stellar. You can hire someone whose job is reputation management. What they can do is not only get rid of the stuff you would prefer to forget, but they will also promote the good, boosting your Google ranking. If a potential employer finds your profile on the first page, while the other candidate’s site does not show up until page 2 or 3, it might be your lucky day. A company called BrandYourself offers their services for only $3,000 a year. For that, you can rest assured that they will manipulate the Internet to your advantage.

If you have an online presence, you need to be careful. If you do not have an online presence, you better create one ASAP, or you might find it harder to land a job next time you are looking for one. It seems like you are damned if you do and damned if you do not. Why are we so hell-bent on making our lives harder?

Stay golden,

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40 thoughts on “HW: #TuesdayThoughts; A secret you need to know when looking for a job.

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  1. Yes… your Facebook and other social media posts and likes are a real giveaway to your character, that’s why employers check them out. An interviewee may come across as the perfect candidate in a face-to-face interview where they’re on their best behaviour, but would that person still get hired if their Facebook profile revealed them to be potentially undesirable for one reason or another? People post all sorts of narcissistic crap about their lives on social media, including racist and political comments. I can see why an employer would want to check their potential employee out in this way before hiring them…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So, I’m just going to throw it out there that this same sort of thing can go the wrong way. I had this one guy come in through a temp agency. He was let go from a somewhat prestigious company on the basis that he didn’t fit the company culture. Curious, but there were other slight concerns about his weekend habits. Hard worker, always on time, took pride in speed and quality, so I kinda figured whatever it was he indulged in was done in a responsible manner and had no premise for complaints. Then one day his personal time spilled into his work time, and the time of everyone that was involved the messy matter. The company pretty much just paid for a whole day of sorting out personal problems and firing people. At the same time, I know the guy just sorely needed a different work culture and would have been just fine.
    And yet, society wants to give the big stink eye to certain workplace cultures. Some people just have a certain attitude that fits a specific place in society. I like diversity, but Americans need to get over the gender thing and just be okay with the fact that some industries are better fit for one gender than the other. It’s really okay if the school teachers are mostly women and construction workers mostly men. In the same vein, I understand a company’s desire to find good fits. I don’t like that it’s via Facebook stalking. If it’s that important, take the interviewees out to dinner. A person will let on about their character over the course of a meal and a drink or two.
    Not having a Facebook is becoming popular, too, so there’s always that option!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your opinions.
      That’s the whole thing – that not having a social media presence at all can ruin you. You’re not credible that way. How insane is THAT?
      I like your dinner idea!

      Like

  3. Try to look through your company’s files and see if you can find an album “Christmas party”. I bet you, half of the people look drunk on those pictures.
    So what is the difference with looking like that on facebook.

    But anyhow, let’s do an experiment.
    I am not super active on FB, but here is my page: https://www.facebook.com/sharkoshark

    What kind of person would people think I am?
    And does that represent of what you know of me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I usually don’t go to those parties because people get stupid drunk and don’t think their boss cares about it. I don’t want to go out and feel like I have to nurse a single drink the whole night. I went once. It was a celebration of people who have been with the company for an x amount of years. After my 2nd drink, they ran out of whiskey (my preferred choice). Maybe that’s for the better, because I felt like my boss looked at me funny for having more than 1 drink.

      I clicked on that link, but it says that it’s unavailable.

      Like

        1. 1. Your Last name is shortened, which makes it somewhat harder to find if an employer was to look for it.
          2. Your photos are not visible unless you make an account.
          3. What I did see and what interested me was “Squatting Slavs In Tracksuits”. What’s the story behind that?

          Like

          1. I thought it was all out in the open!! Usually I struggle to increase the privacy, now I don’t know what to do make it public, haha.

            I actually happen to be funny on facebook, so I’d be happy for them to find out that I am hilarious.

            Ah! Squatting Slavs in Tracksuits is a funny one. It shows pictures of daily live in Eastern European countries. It’s funny and very true as well as I have noticed on my trip to Bosnia.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Heh. Right. Because Facebook and the like is *always* a true reflection of a person’s character. They’re totally not masquerading at all, or saying stupid things for attention.

    Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of the social media mentality in general. It seems two-faced, and I’m two-faced enough myself: I don’t want to see that in other people. So, judging people sheerly from their filtered, out of context Facebook photos, or their in-poor-taste rants that are probably just an outlet for an anger born of something totally unrelated? No, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A very valid point. Aside from vying for attention, people usually post only the good stuff there. Maybe some people won’t get a job since they always seem to be travelling (hence they must have enough money).

      Social media seems to me like a playground. Young people go there to just make castles in the sand. And for older people, it is a way to keep in touch with those whom they never talk to anyway.

      I do like my blog, though. Great social media platform.

      And I have a Twitter now to connect with the writing community, but I’m not feeling it all that much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. I suppose I can’t really complain about making castles in the sand…

        Though personally, I don’t think of blogging as a form of social media. I guess it technically is… But it feels different to me, not like the mainstream stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I remembered not long ago while in an interview. There were three ladies behind a table waiting to greet me and asked me to sit to begin the interview. To break the ice, I said, oh sorry, I think I may have just walked into an American Idol audition. They laughed and we chatted for a few secs before the questions started. Anyway, I recall bringing up that I write when they all quickly returned with “we know, we googled you”. It was the first time that I realized how your online presence can quickly become a variable in the hiring process. It all worked out in the end, but I did imagine afterwards of what it would have been like if I had a negative online presence, how would that have impacted my chances? Yay future!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THREE? That’s a bit much. I’ve done interviews with a co-worker, so two people, but three is unnecessary. I’ve done one where there were … 6? people interviewing me. Like the Knights of the Round Table. It was definitely intimidating.

      Your “American Idol” reference made me chuckle. I would have been mortified if I heard their response. I don’t think any of my employers knew about my writing. I don’t think any would suspect me of it. I’m not sure why…

      CongratZ!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it was a bit much looking back on it. It was early in my blogging career. I used to write a coloumn in the local paper. There are some at my current job that know I write. I don’t speak it about it much, but I have got the odd left field comment from someone who had read a post or two. I like to protect my little world sometimes. At this stage of my life, I treat any interview like a converstaion, it helps me get through it and shows my personality better.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember when they said bosses would look into your Facebook profile for details on you and that’s when everyone either started to be more careful with their online presence or they added more security to it so that not anyone could see your profile. I guess it also depends on the job you’re applying for and what you’re trying to do. I But it is sad that online/personal life can now have an incidence on your work life…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I remember more people making their profiles “private”. But to know that the absence of incriminating evidence can be just as damning is terrifying.

      You seem to have great online presence, so it should only benefit you. Although, aside from Twitter and your blog, I have not researched you. Who knows what you’re hiding. LOL

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahahaahahah I’m dying! I’m not one to publish personal pictures everywhere but I am on most social media platforms FOR my blog. Considering that my field of study and entourage puts me around cops 90% of the time, I think I’m also in the best position to know how important it is to… hide… things… Hahahahaha

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m not in psychology, although I always found that field fun to explore. I’m in criminology, which is basically a blend of psychology, sociology and law. My research is mostly oriented towards the sociological aspects of the field (and even more inclined to the economical fields) by tackling the subject of criminal success. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember this one time when I applied for the job of a physics teacher at a secondary school. I was invited for an interview two weeks after I submitted my application letter and CV. At the end of the interview, the interviewer asked me why I’d applied to teach physics since I knew so much about English to teach it at another school as some sort of volunteer service.

    At first, I was shocked. I’d purposely left out that part from my CV. I’d thought it wasn’t much of an achievement to teach a bunch of kids English during summer school to include it in my CV. Like, it was just for a month, give or take a few days, so . . .

    I later learnt that my interviewer had taken the liberty to visit my Facebook profile and read all the posts I’d made that year. (He read a post where I talked about the summer school job.) Now, I don’t know about you, but I found this creepy.

    I won’t lie to you: ever since I realised how much attention employers pay to a potential employee’s social media profiles before hiring them, I now pay more attention to the things I post online. This new style doesn’t allow me as much elbow room to be myself as I’d like, but, oh, well…

    It’s not like I say things in my posts that I wouldn’t normally say in real life. Nah. I just try not to voice my opinions about controversial topics very often. These employers, though … don’t they know that people hardly show the REAL them on social media? They only know what people want them to know. They only see what people want them to see. That’s the illusion they usually feel is most qualified for the job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Obi! How are things?

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m not sure why you would take out teaching experience from a CV if you are applying for a teaching job, but we all have our reasons.

      Yes, it IS creepy. It’s a total invasion of privacy. There are some things they are not allowed to ask you (like your age), but by checking out your social media profiles, they can find much more than that. It’s like allowing strangers to bug your home without you knowing. They watch your every move and hear your every word. Insane.

      I have always been a bit of a minimalist when it comes to online presence, but to find out that that can hurt you as well was mind-boggling. It seems like I need to curate an account solely for the purposes of a potential employer. Nope, can’t be bothered. And you are exactly right – there is so much fake stuff on there…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why did I leave it out of my CV? Hehehe. Well, you see, it was the first time I would be teaching OFFICIALLY at a school. Not as a volunteer service. No. Official stuff.

        I guess because it was my first time trying out, I didn’t know my CV was supposed to be my sales pitch. I was supposed to hype myself and highlight all my achievements and experiences that are related to teaching. I only saw it as a document containing all my personal information. Lol. Thank God for growth.

        Aha! I was going to point out how unnecessary it is to curate another account, but, of course, you know that already.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, really? That’s great to hear. Were you able to get some business on one of those platforms we talked about, or is it from somewhere else?

          Things are going alright. The year is coming to an end and so I hope to have some extra days off and work on some things that give me pleasure.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I still haven’t given much attention to those platforms. I plan to do that next month, AFTER my exams. Right now (with my exams starting next Friday), I don’t want to commit to anything unrelated to studying. As financially rewarding as it may be, it’d only distract me.

            I got the contracts from Facebook. Two bloggers over there needed a ghostwriter and, fortunately for me, their friends referred them to yours truly.

            I’m glad to hear that things are going well for you. You’re not the only one looking forward to the holidays. I have so much planned out for every day that I’ll spend when I travel back home, and each day’s plans involve 12 hours of sleep.

            Liked by 1 person

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Rachael Ritchey

Worlds of Fiction

From famine to feast.

Recovery and growth, things that interest me, occasional deep-thoughts, and random poetry.

Skeptical Heartism

Views from a skeptical heart

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