Saturday, December 06, 2008


Human behavior is endlessly fascinating. And with our connected internet world, everyone can instantly know all about your behavior. The interesting thing is how few people think to employ their editing eye to their internet-exposed behavior when seeking employment.

My boyfriend recently conducted a search for a new assistant. He has a really cool job so he received a deluge of resumes. He culled those he found interesting and then set about narrowing it down to those he’d actually interview. To do this he didn’t check references or anything so analog. He turned to our friends, the online networking sites.

He found each candidate’s profile easily on one networking site or another. He then employed a simple rubric. If the candidate had any pictures posted of stupid behavior, their resume went in the trash pile. He was especially bummed about the Harvard grad with the amazing resume whose profile featured several red-plastic-party-cup shots and one draped-over-a-keg shot. Not that this stuff isn’t all well and good. Who among us hasn’t had a certain amount of familiarity with the red party cup? But if you are applying for a job, aren’t you smart enough to realize that your potential employers may see the stuff you so cavalierly post about yourself? Apparently even a Harvard degree doesn’t mean you’re a brainiac.

Somewhat worse are those who don’t edit their behavior while on the job. I recently was contacted by a former film crew member seeking an online job reference. I was taken off guard. The crew member in question was the only one of the entire crew who had acted unprofessionally and caused trouble both on set and off. I spent more than a few hours cleaning up drama and emotional messes they’d caused. I’d personally vowed never to work with such a pain in the ass again and here they were, asking me for a reference. I was astonished. Did they forget all the trouble they’d caused? Did they actually think they’d done a good job? Or worse, were they so obliviously self-absorbed they didn’t even get that they’d caused trouble? Astounding!

I managed to wiggle out of having to give a reference since I’m such a bad liar and wouldn’t have been able to give the glowing report the crew member was clearly expecting. But it left me wondering how many of us are oblivious to the impact, good and bad, that we have on others in our workplaces.

With more of us than ever seeking employment, it’s important to put your best foot forward, whether that means presenting yourself professionally online or in person or performing a good job to earn a good reference. Do a good job, get a good job, and then we can all break out the red plastic party cups. But please, no pictures.

Labels: ,


Blogger Carlo said...

Exactly. It's not that red plastic party cup aren't all well and good, it's about having the good sense not to post them for the whole world to see. Just set your page private.

5:11 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home