I wish I could say this is stating the obvious — it’s not. People continue to miss out on opportunities because of something they said anywhere online. This applies not only to those looking for jobs, but also freelancers and those in current jobs. Future clients, customers, employers, agents and publishers WILL check up on you before they consider signing you.
This applies to interests including political. Now, we all have a right to support whomever we want running for office, but how we handle ourselves in supporting or not supporting a candidate can affect whether you get a job or gig. A financial service placement firm reported that a candidate lost out on a job because he posted a negative note on a candidate’s Facebook page.
Whole Foods Flap
I wish I had more details. Would the employer overlook a positive post? Was the negative post one of those shooting off at the mouth without any supporting facts? If the job was an executive or C-level one, it probably would not matter as Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a Wall Street Journal Op/Ed that left many loyal customers seething. Mackey posts the full details on his blog. In short, his opnion went against what many of Whole Foods’ customers believe in.
Topics That Might Bug Folks
Would you want to hire someone who complains about family, marriage and illnesses, or posts about a drunken night ora frustrating editor? Most of us have done regretable or silly things in our lives, especially as youngsters, but they don’t belong online if you want to have a chance of landing a job, contract or gig.
Oh, you only send it to close friends and family? Even if you can trust them, are you sure they won’t accidentally forward it or accidentally spill it to the public? Remember landing the job at Cisco tweet? Or the Fedex insult?
When you write anything electronically, do the Mom / child / employer check
Would you want your mama or child to read about your drunk night? Would you want your employer to read that you can’t stand X candidate? Would you want your client to see you whine and complain about life in general? Do you want an editor to see how difficult you are as a writer?
If necessary, reword them to ask “How would you feel if you read that a prospective peer or employee did X?” Maybe the reality will have a greater impact.
Recruiters, hiring managers and other folks know that many folks share too much about themselves online. While someone might keep that out of her professional life, that has no bearing on the message she sends. If you need to talk to someone, do it offline. Also, watch what you text on your phone because people can forward those too.
What stories have you heard about people who lost opportunities as a result of improper online posts?