How To Lose a Job Because of Twitter

Some people just don’t get Twitter.  Twitter has become extremely popular and like most social media sites, it has become something that is checked by recruiters and human resources people before they make job offers.  In fact, many recruiters use the web to check and screen applicants prior to interviews, using what they find to make judgement calls based on the information discovered.

Why would some people post some of the things they are doing at work or during their own time when the actions are entirely questionable at the best of times?  I just don’t see what these people are thinking.

With these social networks embedding themselves firmly into the social fabric, people have to remember that they have an online reputation that could eventually come back to haunt them.  More employers are starting to monitor the online behavior of their employees.  HR people recommend that a good rule to live by is to not do anything online that you don’t want to come back to haunt you later.

In a quick search on Twitter, I was amazed at what some people were putting in their tweets.

Here are some actual Twitter Tweets that people had included in their updates (yes these are real).

How To Loose a Job From Tweeting on Twitter

People often forget that social media is just that – social.  Entering in a quick update on Twitter can be viewed instantly by those who are following and by anyone who does a search.  Plus, with the authority that these sites have obtained, much of the user generated content is indexed quickly and hangs around for some time in the various search engine cache systems even if deleted by the user.

Online reputation management has to be a concern of everyone.  Seemingly innocent comments can be taken out of context and take on a whole different meaning outside the social networking arena in which they were made.  Employers have recognized the power of social networking to learn about potential (and existing) employees.  It is time that employees realize the same.

Follow me on Twitter if you’re interested in my blog, my views on things or just because you’re hooked on Twitter.

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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5 Responses to How To Lose a Job Because of Twitter

  1. Do you think it is fair for an employer to judge an individual by his social media profile (blogs, social networks, etc)? Granted your actions could bring ill repute on a company but before everyone share all of their inner most secrets online with the world, what rights did a corporation have for using an employees personal life as a means to get rid of an employee if what they did on their own time did not have an impact on the quality of their work?

    • bwheeler says:

      I don’t necessarily think that it’s “fair”, but what people have to realize is that this is a new mechanisms that people are using to screen employees. For the most part, companies are private entities, and the owners have the right to decide who they want to hire based on any given criteria as long as it doesn’t discriminate based on sex, race, color or religious affiliation as determined by many challenges in the courts. Yet, even then, we still find that some companies and managers that can elect to screen out potential employees based on their online activities. It would be interesting to see if an employee that is fired based on their online activities that have nothing to do with the “corporate” role they decides to take this to court. I’m sure it will happen and there will be some interesting decisions in the near future.

  2. Ask me how I found someone who stole my custom Twitter background. Yeah they Tweeted it.

    Great post. Be careful what you Tweet and write on Facebook too.

    • bwheeler says:

      Exactly .. it’s amazing what you can find. People have to be concerned with their online reputation and be concern with what people are saying. Right now for example, Derrick Lane of Lanehost is getting a lesson in how not to run a web hosting company. He’s also in your neck of the woods in Houston, Texas. I wonder what he’s going to think of my latest post about LaneHost.

  3. editchick says:

    I’m starting a job search and what you wrote about twitter privacy or lack there of and job searches. I like to freely comment about ideas and political views online, not bad things, just things that wouldn’t come up in an interview. But as far as I know, I’m totally annonymous. I mean, you can’t tell by my twitter name and email what my real name and location would be could you? I’ve tried to test it, but am I safe? Hey, maybe an ‘am i safe.com’ page could be a good service. Just type in your real name and it tells you if your social media pages (facebook, myspace, twitter) are ‘telling’ on you? I tried to follow you on twitter, but can’t find you/your link doesn’t go to a twitter name? Mine is Editchick. Please let me know if my ‘real name’ is findable or safe? A million thanks!

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