A Social Media Blunder To End Your Career


I caught this post from “I’m Actually Not A Geek”‘s blog, and at first, blew right past it.

I saw this exchange on Twitter, which is a painful lesson in how NOT to use Twitter in this tough economy.

A lucky job applicant tweeted the following:

Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.

This tweet caught the attention of a Channel Partner advocate for Cisco. To which he responded:

Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.

The person who dissed the Cisco offer quickly took their Twitter account private. But Twitter search retained the record.

Just another example of someone being rather stupid online, I thought.  But the story stayed with me for a few days.

But then it dawned on me that all the rants, inappropriate language, and a littany of historical information will be available to prospective employers for years to come.  That fact alone has changed the face of employment researches, and a hard cold reminder that whatever you put online – wherever you put it, becomes part of your permanent online record.

To me, there are several important issues that should be pointed out here:

First, the hasty individual who originally Tweeted needs to recognize proper online etiquette by using proper privacy settings.  More importantly, she really didn’t understand who her audience was to begin with.

Second, it seems to me that the Cisco employee who stumbled upon her Tweet acted in an unprofessional manner.

And third, perhaps worst of all, there were other Twitter users who deployed a full attack on the girl. Nearly cyber-bullying her as they started rumors that her job offer had been rescinded, and even built a website devoted to making fun of her, even publicising her private information.

There’s no accounting for some people’s stupidity in posting rash comments like this poor soul.  But in the end, do you think it’s justified that a company deny employment based on any comment made outside of the workplace?

Weigh in here – I’m really curious to see what you think.

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