June 19th, 2012 → 12:46 pm @ Mark Story // 3 Comments
Meghan Casserly, a Forbes staff writer, has just written a piece full of some really bad advice. Sometimes, I read things and run straight to my computer to Stop The Madness. This is one of those times.
In the June 14 article “Social Media And The Job Hunt: Squeaky-Clean Profiles Need Not Apply,” Meghan postulates that the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of entry and junior-level candidates “scrubbing” their Facebook pages, removing party pictures and replacing them with bland profile information. For her, it’s time for candidates to put some personality back into their Facebook profiles, the profiles that can be found by potential employers.
“But with all of the common wisdom floating around the web (and this site) on how careful job seekers must be about curating (read: editing) their social presence online, it seems to be that our advice might have crossed over from helpful to problematic.”
Problematic? How’s that, Meghan?
She cites the example of a young friend whose job it is to screen candidates for a recruitment firm for entry-to-mid level positions in financial and legal arena in New York City. First, the person doing the preliminary screening with your career in her hands is 21 years old, but second, it would appear that those candidates who have followed the conventional wisdom and have ensured that potentially embarrassing party photos do not show up go to the bottom of the resume pile. Yep:
“’There’s a sense that a profile with no character has probably been scraped of some racy stuff or else the person has no social skills and won’t fit in.’” Either way, she says, that candidate has been moved to the bottom of the pile.”
There is so much wrong with this that I am not sure where to start:
To me – and still – entry-level and junior candidates should either very carefully look at their Facebook profiles and remove items that they are not comfortable sharing (some people simply don’t care about the impact that a keg stand picture would have, and that’s fine) not lock down their Facebook pages so only friends can see select information. It’s common sense. Common freaking sense.
That’s why I am so horrified at the content of this article. Judgment is gained with experience and that’s why junior-level candidates competing in a crappy enconomy should err on the side of caution.. So I think it’s terrible advice, Megan. And 21 year-old screener? Maybe instead of the applicant with no party pictures having “no social skills,” she just has really good judgment.
Image source: Global Voices Online