Once again, someone recently used Twitter to air her grievance. It’s becoming a too common occurrence. Whether someone leaves a nasty note on a vehicle about parking issues or notes to neighbors about their “noisy” children or invoices to parents who missed the party that they RSVP’d for, the list goes on and on. I doubt very highly that the founders of social media platforms predicted this level of rude “social” behavior which brings me to the topic of today’s blog. How one’s social media presence can hurt future job prospects.

By now, you may have read about the young woman who posted both her initial email after the first interview asking about salary & benefits and the resulting responses from the hiring manager who basically gave her the golden handshake. Of course, social media being a public village erupted with all sorts of comments and diatribes against the hiring manager and the company. The upshot was that the company was totally blindsided by this negative press and essentially threw the hiring manager under the bus by offering the young woman another interview. Did I forget to mention that the young woman encouraged a boycott of this company in her original tweet? Huh??

My one piece of advice to the young woman would have been to take the conversation offline and ask why she wasn’t given a second interview. She would have learned where her misstep was and the problem would have been solved. See below her initial email after the interview. I believe her question was framed in a too familiar way; the use of the word Sorry wasn’t needed because she seeking a salary not forgiveness; the emoticon doesn’t look very professional. The statements should have been written in the Third Person. What is the salary for this position? Do you offer a Benefit program for employees?

Hi Victoria,

I had another question that I wanted to ask you. If I do end up filling this position, how much do you think I’ll be getting paid an hour? Benefits will also be included, right? Sorry, I just thought I should ask now. Thanks for your time and have a lovely day. 🙂

Best,

Taylor Byrnes

My guess as to why she didn’t receive the second interview may have to do with the first. Perhaps there were red flags for the hiring manager that were concerning. And the post interview email from the woman just put the “nail” in the coffin providing a tidy way of keeping her off the short list. Or maybe the hiring manager was tasked with trying to find young talent willing to work for full commission. So what?? It’s none of my business or the internet’s business either. It’s between Taylor and Victoria and no one else.

The unfortunate part is that everyone now knows this young woman’s identity. Future hiring managers will do a perusal of Google to see what comes up. She won’t be hard to find. As a result, will she have an easy time getting hired? Will companies or businesses be concerned about how she “shares” her negative concerns on the internet instead of going through the proper channels to be resolved offline? Where is her loyalty? She wanted her followers to boycott this company. These are key issues when making hiring decisions.

The good impression of a company in the minds of potential customers is essential. That’s why hiring managers take great pains to see that prospective candidates won’t prove to be a disaster when hired. The woman hadn’t even been offered the job and look how her careless tweet created a PR nightmare for the company.

In teaching teens, I strongly urge them to consider creating a positive, digital footprint right now. Basically, if that emotionally charged post/tweet/Instagram shouldn’t appear on the nightly news, then it definitely shouldn’t be posted either. Besides, a sign of maturity is being able to deal effectively with conflict offline and learning important skills in the process.


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