Because I interact with hundreds of recruiters through HealthcareITCentral.com, I frequently receive unsolicited resumes from Healthcare IT job seekers. If there’s not a current job posting that matches their experience, I'll make an introduction if I think a specific employer or recruiter would be interested in their talents. Happy to do it. Typically, I also send the job seeker a link to the Twitter 101 series, because I so strongly believe the in the power of Social Media to bridge gaps and make new connections – key components in a successful job search.
Now to be clear, I don’t personally vouch for these candidates. I simply make an introduction if I think the needs and talents might be a good fit. However, because I leverage relationships on both sides to make this connection, I do assume the candidates will conduct themselves in a professional manner. But. . . we all know what happens when you assume, right? Right. So imagine my chagrin this Monday morning when I happened to see the following Tweet from the candidate side of an introduction made last week:
“Trying to get focused, but MAN I HATE MONDAYS!!!!”
Okay, let’s face it. We all hate Mondays. But that is not what a potential employer needs to hear a potential employee trumpet across the Internet as the week begins. Unfortunately, this is not the first time I’ve cringed as I’ve followed the Tweets of my job-seeking colleagues. To me the importance of maintaining a professional demeanor online seems painfully obvious, but perhaps the casual vibe of Twitter lulls otherwise intelligent business professionals into a false sense of . . . stupidity. So, in no particular order, here are some samples of the types of Tweets (based on actual Tweets from this morning) you need to keep to yourself if you ever dream of landing a lucrative, rewarding, and professional career opportunity:
1. “ Locked out of my house! WTF?!”
Okay, getting locked out of your own house is highly frustrating, and a quick Tweet to your followers would most likely yield some well-deserved empathy, and quite possibly some clever solutions. However . . .
Message sent: Candidate is careless, unorganized, and has a tendency to publicly drop the f-bomb, which could indicate an anger management problem or a propensity for unprofessional language.
2. “Project for the week: get my mojo back (I've gotten wicked undisciplined)”
Who can stay 100% focused all of the time? We all lose our mojo now and then. And a Tweet like this one would result in some great “Dude, I hear you man!” responses. However . . .
Message sent: If the candidate is currently unemployed, the fact that s/he has become “wicked undisciplined” is a huge red flag – who wants an unfocused future employee? If the candidate is currently employed, this is even worse – who wants an unfocused employee on company time?
3. “I don't hate my boss, just my manager - fake, stupid cow...
I’ve actually had a manager who fit this description to a “T.” Bet you have, too. And it’s great that this Twitterer is selective about who they choose to hate at work. However . . .
Message sent: Bottom line here is, it’s just never a good idea to bad-mouth your employer or co-workers. Not now, not ever. And to bad-mouth them online, in a public forum that is archived? Now who’s the stupid cow?
4. “I hate when my morning gets all f'ed up when the chatty cathy coworkers come in yapping about stuff I could care less about...”
To be honest, my first thought when I read this Tweet was, “I hear you! Me, too! And don’t you really hate it when you ignore them and keep working and they still won’t shut up?” However. . .
Message sent: Employers are looking for flexible, good-natured, team players. This Tweet shows a lack of esprit de corps, at the very least. Not a good idea.
5. “Either I am still hungover or getting sick. Good thing the boss is on vacation because I am useless today”
Tweets like this one get reTweeted often, because, admittedly, it’s something that most of us can relate to, either now or earlier in our careers. The Monday after a holiday weekend can be rough, and who doesn’t feel just a bit freer when the boss is on vacation? However. . .
Message sent: It is never, ever wise to discuss your personal overindulgences online, especially not on company time. Potential employers are very sensitive to (and have every right to be) signs of substance abuse in future employees. And with budgets tighter than ever, who wants even one day of a worthless employee?
With the exception of the “Man I hate Mondays!” Tweet, none of the actual Tweets listed above from this morning originated from Healthcare IT job seekers. But they very well could have. And there are many, many other ways to Tweet yourself right out of a job. Think of it as your online job seeker Miranda rights. Anything you say can and will be used against you in an interview. If you make it that far. So think before you Tweet, because EVERYONE is listening.