Heather Huhman – pronounced “whoman?” couldn’t have said it any better.
The moral of the story? If you’re a candidate in the market for a new job, or if you ever want to work again, be careful what you post on the internet; twitter, Facebook (I’m still waiting for Zuckerberg to call me), Linkedin, anywhere.
One would do well to really consider that anything posted on what techies call a ‘rented platform’ is not owned therefore not ‘deletable’ by the poster. Data is indexed forever not only on any rented platform, but also ‘snap-shotted’ forever by systems like The WayBack Machineย or by an ever-increasing number of web snapshot services popping up and disappearing on the internet.
Then there’s Google and a whole heap of other aggregators that will, at the touch of a button, deliver a concise and useful shortlist of social mentions for any particular recruiter, resourcer or simply curious entity. Take a look at Topsy.com and try it, you might be shocked at your own behaviour online! You’d also be shocked as to who might be interested in your online behaviour, generally.
In countries like the USA, the privacy laws are substantially different to those in the United Kingdom or in Australia. In other words you can expect an Australian organisation to expunge, disclose or deliver any piece of information stored on a computer on request, wherever possible. In the US however, deleting your data from an old Facebook account is another story.
By the time I finish writing this post the current figure of 93% of organisations planning to use social media channels to recruit would have jumped to 94%. And this figure is likely to be significantly higher for the ICT sector, by virtue of the fact that those candidates have been ‘breadcrumbing’ the internet with comments on third party, or rented platforms for over a decade in most cases.
So if you’re a candidate you might just get resourced out of your next job because of a drunken tweet. Tragic. If you can’t remember your twitter password and can’t remember which email address you used – or even worse no longer have access to that email account – bad luck. Twitter won’t help you no matter who you are.
If you have any entertaining stories please do tell.