Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I consider myself a pretty fortunate person. I have a great job, a freakin’ stellar boyfriend, a roof over my head, food on my table…and three of the most awesome little brothers a girl could ask for. Other than being their mentor (who wouldn’t want to be like me?), punching bag, maid, alibi, and co-conspirator, my job description also requires me to be a little rat. Sometimes. (Oh come on, who doesn’t like to get their brothers in trouble…on occasion?) Of course, I like to think that I only rat my brothers out when it is absolutely necessary…or when I am bored. For example, it was imperative for me to tell my mom that Ryan was trying to teach Kevin how to smoke at the age of 14, or that it was Ryan that broke my doll bed (when, in fact, it was actually me…oops), or that I was pretty certain that Ryan was the one sneaking the bottles of wine out of the cabinet. So naturally, when I saw my youngest brother, Casey, using some rather foul language on his Facebook posts, I had to step in and show him the error of his ways. Before I reported him to Big Brother (aka MOM), I tried to have a nice little sisterly chat with him. I told him that while he thought his naughty posts were funny (and I have to admit it…they were hysterical), it was possible for someone to find them and while he was trying to get into college, find a job, etc. it probably wasn’t the wisest idea to have F bombs flying left and right for the world to see. I wish I could say that he immediately recognized that his all knowing big sister was right but such was not the case. Instead, Casey, the magical wordsmith, fought back. I believe he even mentioned the First Amendment. (Our parents are lawyers so falling back on the Constitution and Bill of Rights is natural.) In any event, after bickering back and forth, I decided that it was time I released my secret weapon...so I picked up the phone and called my mom. She put a stop to Casey’s antics very quickly. Within an hour, he was off of Facebook (on a temporary basis), grounded, and without his beloved Fender guitar for an entire week. I felt bad about his temporary separation from his guitar, but sometimes, you have to hit em’ where it hurts to get the point across.
While I’m pretty sure not much harm would have come to Casey because of his posts (I don’t think the UCF Gestapo even knows who he is) , I thought it was important to point out that small things like that could (and do!) hurt a person’s college/job search.
A few days ago, one of my dev buddies sent me an email about a candidate he was thinking of hiring. In this email I did not find a resume or dynamic executive summary. Instead, I was presented with a listed of inappropriate sites this candidate was on, crude blog posts, and trashy tweets overrun with obscenities. Though this candidate’s technical background was beyond reproach, his extra curricular activities and posts quickly took him out of the running for a job. As soon as my buddy found this information (and it took all of ten minutes), he put everything in an email, forwarded to the interviewing committee, and the candidate’s final interview was cancelled.
I wish I could say this was a rare occurrence, but this kind of thing happens all of the time. About a year ago, we have someone interviewing for an internal position with Kforce. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but because I am a quasi stalker, I decided to do a little research anyway. I typed his name into Google (this was before Bing, so please don’t judge me) and the first three hits were inappropriate adult sites. Way below that (like at the very, very bottom of the results page) was his LinkedIn profile. I forwarded this to the person doing the interviewing, and he was eliminated from consideration. Now, I know some of you might think I am terrible for doing that, but frankly, I’m not jazzed about having a XXX model as my sales partner, since we rely on our reputation a lot in this industry. Correct me if I’m wrong, but naked internet pictures do not scream, “Hi, I’m very professional. Let me be in charge of staffing your team.”
Whenever I work with candidates, I always, always, ALWAYS tell them to make sure to do a little research…on themselves. Bing is your friend and you should use it whenever you are thinking of making a job change. I stalk myself (almost obsessively) because I like to know what other people are seeing when they look me up. While I’m not sure other firms do (since I’ve only worked at The Force), but I imagine pretty much recruiter would advise their candidate’s to do the same thing…and even if they don’t, you can bet your butt that the end client is doing their research. I’ve had a few clients come back and cancel interviews because of some questionable material they found. Losing out on a job always sucks (particularly in this economy), but it sucks twice as much when you lose it because of a mistake that could have been prevented. Just like in any thing else you do, doing your due diligence always pays off…and if you insist on posting naked pictures, tweeting foul word followed by foul word, or doing something else just as stupid, do it AFTER you got the job. Kidding.