Selfie’ Inflicted Recruitment Fails…

It’s Saturday morning… you gingerly peel one eye open… slowly… very slowly.  You know the pain is coming… yep… there it is… right behind your left eye.

You wonder what time you made it to bed… you wonder how you got home… you wonder how you woke up with a random street sign… right there… under the covers… And… although it’s only Saturday, you wonder if you are going to be able to function in time for your job interview on Monday afternoon…

Rewind a couple of days. You were amazing at your interview with me – exactly what my client is looking for. A combination of relevant experience, great skill set, and just the right mix of self assured street smarts with an underlying maturity. I’m sure my client is going to love you… and I tell you so.

selfie2‘My client is going to love you!’

You smile back at me.

By Friday afternoon I have my client drooling over the prospect of meeting you. He rearranges his schedule so that he can see you on Monday afternoon… It is all going well… too well…

Fast forward to Sunday morning… that’s right no typo – I said Sunday morning… my client calls me… and it goes a little something like this…

‘Hi Craig, sorry to call you on a Sunday morning. Hope I haven’t kept you from something important?’

What? Like Church?’ I thought…

‘What? Like Church?’ I said…

Nervous giggle… never a good thing… I was getting worried…

‘It’s just…’ he stammered – now I was really worried. ‘It’s just… I have decided to cancel my meeting with Dale Kerrigan tomorrow…’

‘Why?’ I heard myself ask… It was kind of spread out across two syllables… with the tone much… much higher by the second one.

‘Well…’ he began. ‘I was doing a little prep for the meeting last night and I checked Dale out on facebook™… Ummm… and… I don’t think he’s a right culture fit for us…’

What do you mean? You thought he was great on Friday… Let me look into it and come back to you… whatever it is, I’m sure there’s an explanation.’ Desperation, pleading, begging… but most of all confusion.

‘No Craig. Please wish Dale well, but we won’t be proceeding with his application. Have a nice day…’

‘Yeh, you have a nice day too you F&*%ing  B@$&ard!!!’ I yelled back. Obviously he had already hung up… but it made me feel better…

selfie3I opened my computer and logged into facebook™. I searched for Dale Kerrigan… first I found a link to the movie The Castle, but then I found you… and it was quite an eye opener… A series of pics from your Friday night escapades… Oh it started out ok… smiling at the camera… seemingly sober… but then… it progressed to an image of you cutting a fairly unglamorous and awkward figure as you attempted a ninja move a little outside your skill level… and finally… well… let’s just say that the last photo was an image of you… in your underpants… being dragged off the top of the bar by a pair of burly bouncers. What surprised me most wasn’t that you still had a shot glass in each hand… but perhaps more disturbing was the dog collar and leash you wore from your neck… and the pointedly romantic message scrawled in permanent red marker on your chest… outlining your desire for intimate relations with Justin Bieber…

So… what’s the point of this blog? I’m tipping it should be pretty obvious… Basically, you should expect that every time you apply for a new role your online presence will be scrutinised. I mean I have a plug-in on my email that instantly delivers me the facebook™ Twitter™ Instagram™ and LinkedIn™ accounts connected to the email address that contacted me. Right there… I don’t even have to search…

Everything you do… every inane comment, or status update you make… every photo you post, or are tagged in… they are there for the whole world to see… forever.

If that doesn’t scare you consider this. It’s harder to close down a facebook™ or Instagram™ account than it is to dress up as Batman and charm your way into Warner Bros. Movieworld for free… I know… I’ve tried both and only been successful at one. And even if you do manage to shut down your account, it is all still there… waiting for the next piece of software to unearth your buried past.

selfie1@greg_savage posted a tweet this week ‘More than 16 billion photos have been uploaded to Instagram’ Guess what? Many of those pics are ones you don’t want a future employer to see – and they will see them… and judge you by them… and laugh at you… and question your professional integrity… How’s that photo of you in the buff & striking a pose as you look out over the precipice of the cliff into the horizon looking now?

My advice is this. Have some selfie respect… like what I did there? And clean up your online presence… or don’t… and risk missing out on the career you have spent years working towards. Your profile is in your hands… and those that tag you!

Craig Watson


8 thoughts on “Selfie’ Inflicted Recruitment Fails…

  1. Kevin Geerin on Reply

    How True Craig I have always believed that a future or current Employer could tap into your Social media Comments and it could curtail a future role.

    I think this is one of your best ‘Lessons to Learn” Blog.

  2. trumpetpage on Reply

    Craig, best post of the week! A poignant reminder that when you play on social media, it’s there for the whole world to see. You are your brand – even on a boozy Saturday night 🙂

  3. woerusdgfjgn on Reply

    way to serious social media should be just that. Not a mechanism to make people into mindless robots that do and say only what their told anyone happy enough to be led around by the nose and not form their own opinion on any given issue fails to be a human being! They become more like sheep! (fun should not be illegal)
    The new censorship employerspeak

  4. Frank Sommerville on Reply

    So true Craig – every new employee we consider interviewing or hiring, our social media team trawl the web looking for this type of information. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – even LinkedIn as quite often the backgrounds listed on there don’t match the actual CV you have in front of you. I agree that we are all entitled to a bit of down time in our private lives – just don’t go posting pics or commenting on it for everyone in the world to see ! We’ve also decided not to interview candidates before if we’ve found comments posted on social media about them not going to work as they were too hungover etc….

    This topic is also a very hot one in the secondary school system as well with students being advised how potential employers of theirs are looking at this information they post and quite often, making decisions on them before they even step in the door for an interview (if they are lucky to get that far).

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