I was fired because of Facebook

Last week I mentioned how people say weird (or is that idiotic?) things on Twitter that will most-likely get them fired or at the very least, provide some pretty awkward moments in the office. Well, this behavior is not exclusive to Twitter. Its actually quite rampant on Facebook as well.

Check out these examples:

  • Connecticut superintendent out of job over Facebook comments – A Connecticut school superintendent is out of a six-figure job after getting into some Facebook trouble. The Windsor Locks Board of Education is forcing David Telesca to resign after comments he made on his Facebook page.
  • Hospital Will Fire Workers in Facebook Scandal – Rumors swirled around Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside two weeks ago that some employees had been fired for sharing patient information on Facebook. The allegations, that dozens of employees may have violated patient confidentiality by posting information on the social networking site caught the attention of the state.
  • Employees should exercise discretion on social networks – Social networking can be fun—but it could also get you fired. In fact, that’s what happened to a Swiss insurance worker who lost her job for surfing Facebook after having reported sick. The woman, who had asked for leave saying she had to be away from her computer monitor and resting, was then seen active on Facebook for which her employer—Nationale Suisse—lost trust in her and ended her work contract. The company also banned use of social networking sites during office hours.
  • Photo of Bikini Clad Women Draped on a Police Cruiser Gets South Carolina Cop Fired – A South Carolina police officer has been relieved of his duties after a photo surfaced on Facebook of scantily-clad women posing on the hood of his town police cruiser.
  • Teacher Fired Over Facebook – Harry Smith spoke with teacher June Talvitie-Siple who was forced to resign after parents saw postings on her Facebook page.
  • Facebook entry that earned ‘Lindsay’ her P45 – The worker, known only as “Lindsay”, updated her Facebook status with “OMG [oh my God] I HATE MY JOB!!” She went on: “My boss is a total pervy w****r, always making me do s**t stuff just to p**s me off!! W****r!” Her boss “Brian” responded a few hours later just before 11pm, opening with: “Hi Lindsay, I guess you forgot about adding me on here?”

I suppose it would be too obvious to say do not incriminate yourself on Facebook, but (based on the examples above) no one would hear me. Still, I feel compelled to push a few common sense tips. Puh-leezz people, consider these tips/articles.

  1. Adjust your privacy settings –> 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know
  2. Do NOT discuss confidential information online. Even if you have your privacy settings set for a select few, what if someone on your list gets angry with you? Also, Facebook has adjusted its privacy rules over the years and who knows, maybe they will again. Best to be careful, especially if the data in question is related to your job.
  3. Don’t use Facebook during work hours, especially if you know the management frowns upon it. And if you think you can be (somehow) slick with your use of Facebook, please keep in mind that everything is time stamped and dated. If I am connected to you and can see your wall, I can see that you were on Facebook at 8:02 am which is about 20 minutes after you called in sick.
  4. Remove comments that other people that might get you in trouble later. For example, “Dude you were so drunk last night! hahahaha…” (Would it be a good thing if your manager or office co-workers saw that?)
  5. Check out the photos where you have been tagged and if its necessary, remove the tag and (in your privacy settings) prevent people from tagging you on any future photos.

Okay, that’s it for now. Hmm… it seems like I am on a reputation kick. Maybe I will post more on this. What do you think?


Tell me what you want, what you really, really want

(Sorry about the Spice Girls reference. I couldn’t resist.)

Kudos to Indeed for putting together some very interesting research. They looked at all of the jobs in their database and made a list of the most common attributes that employers are looking for.

Here are the top 5 on their list:

1. Leadership
2. Interpersonal
3. Problem solving
4. Motivated
5. Efficient

( Click here to see the rest of the list. )

When I saw this data I was instantly impressed and began wondering a few things. If these are the attributes that employers “really” want more than anything else, do certain industries value these traits more than others? Hmm… Perhaps I should research this a bit further?

When I searched on jobs with the term “Leadership” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Assistant Managers
* Restaurant General Managers
* Store Manager
* Avon Independent Sales Rep

When I searched on jobs with the term “Interpersonal” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Retail Sales
* Store Manager
* Customer Support

When I searched on jobs with the term “Problem Solving” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Retail Sales
* Satellite TV Installer
* Management Trainee

When I searched on jobs with the term “Motivated” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Retail Sales
* Sales Representative

When I searched on jobs with the term “Efficient” as part of their description, the top job titles were:

* Cashier
* Night stock
* Retail Associate
* Assistant Manager
* Director of Surgical Services

What jumped out at me was when I looked at each attribute (above and the other 10 on the Indeed site), Sales positions were always in the the top 5 of jobs with one exception – Teamwork. I thought that was kind of weird, then I changed my mind. Sales is after all, a competitive experience in many offices.

All this to say, when you are preparing your next cover letter, or prepping for an interview, be sure to hit on all of the characteristics preferred by employers; especially if you are in Sales. (Smile)


How to find a part-time job

I have a question for everyone.

“How can a semiconductor chip company remain profitable if the chip price plummets every few months?”

Anyone? Going once. Going twice. (Smile)

  • If you do not know the answer, then you are not an expert in the field of semiconductor chips.
  • If you do not know the answer, then you probably do not work in that industry at all. At least, not on the technical side of things.
  • If you do work in that industry but just don’t have an answer to my question, then I might not want to talk to you because you were not able to answer my question.
  • If you do work in the semiconductor chip industry and know the answer to my question, then you probably said something like this.

Now, imagine that you are a Chemist and someone asked a difficult question that you correctly answered. Wouldn’t that mean that you have more than a cursory knowledge on the topic? Wouldn’t that mean you just (more than likely) impressed someone who could quite possibly hire you? If not full-time, then perhaps part-time. What’s to stop you from saying (after you have correctly answered the question of course), “If I can be of further service to you feel free to e-mail me.” Or perhaps, “This may solve your problem in the interim, but I know how to resolve it long-term and its too much to go into here. Feel free to call me and I will give you more information.”

Of course, when they reach out to you, ask them about their issues and offer your services. You have already proven your worth (and given them a free sample of what you can do) by answering their question. (Wink)

There are a lot of Question and Answer sites online (a WHOLE lot of them), but here is a short list of the more popular ones.

* Yahoo Answers
* Answerbag
* WikiAnswers
* Anybody Out There
* Askville
* Mahalo Answers
* Linkedin Answers
* Askme HelpDesk
* Rediff Q & A
* Fluther

Good luck!


Has Google Banned Your Resume?

Do you read Hacker articles? Hm… maybe that’s just me. Anyway, I discovered a very interesting bit of info that cited the “Google Blacklist” which are words that Google does not like. As you can imagine, some of the words are pretty sexual in nature. (Um… No need to mention what those word are, correct?) However, some of the words seemed pretty innocent like “amateur” (with a capital T) and “are” if its after the word blacks or jews or scientologists or behind a number of group names.

As I scanned through the list I thought, “Wow. Some people have too much time on their hands and other body parts.”

And then I wondered would any of these words be on a resume and if so, would that mean that Google would block your resume from being seen in its search results? Hmm… I wondered so I did a bit of experimenting.

  • intitle:resume inurl:resume education summa cum laude -your -apply -submit returned 15,300 results
  • intitle:resume inurl:resume education domination -your -apply -submit 285 results
  • intitle:resume inurl:resume education ecstacy -your -apply -submit 145 results

So it would seem that your resume may not be banned by Google for certain words, which is good to know. I suppose it takes more than one word to trigger a Google ban. Since all of the other words on the resume and (presumably) the website its on do not have sexually explicit language, your work history appears to be safe. Still, with all that being said, I would be very careful about the verbiage in your resume. Why? Although Google is able to figure out that your resume is not a porn site, how will the various applicant tracking systems handle your work history? Will they think its something naughty and banish it from the company’s blackhole of a resume database? Its possible, (like anything is possible I suppose) but I do not know for sure.

Hmm… that would be an interesting study.


How to set your expectations after an interview

What is the worst part of an interview? If you ask me, its the not knowing that drives me crazy.

ME: Did I get the job? Do I have a chance? If I did, would you even tell me? Or, are you perfectly satisfied with sending me some automatic generic reply? Why aren’t you answering the questions in my mind?!

RECRUITER: Thank you for your time. We’ll be in touch.

Well, if you identify with my previous angst, you may want to try my (patented-pending) approach to interviewing for a job. In a nutshell, interview the interviewer to gauge the likelihood of said interview being a waste of your time. To do this, sprinkle in these questions some time during the process.

ASK: How long have you been recruiting? How much have you seen the industry change over that time?

WHY?: If they have been recruiting for a while (at least 3 years), then you can assume that they know what they are doing.


ASK: How much have you seen the industry change over that time?

WHY?: If they have been focusing in the same industry for awhile, then they “get” what managers in the field really want vs what they say they want.


RESEARCH: How many endorsements do they have on LinkedIn?

WHY?: It suggests how much of a people person they are. Recruiting is all about relationships and selling. If they have a bunch of attaboys from people they supported then they know how to pick and present a candidate and (better yet) know how to politick to get their hiring numbers up.


ASK: How long have you been recruiting for my role?

WHY?: Let me count the ways. If the job is old (especially in this economy) say, over 90 days old then (1) the manager can’t make a decision, (2) manager is still lobbying for increased headcount and wants resumes on tap for when they are ready, (3) manager wants to hire his cousin but has to “exhaust the possibilities” so it looks good, or, (4) manager wants to hire internally but politically cannot so he has to make it look good.


ASK: How pivotal is the role in the overall company scheme?

WHY?: Is the job low on the pole? If so, most likely they are not in a rush to fill the position. If your gig does happen to be low on the priority list so, ask about other roles they are trying to fill. If you know someone that might be a fit, you have another reason to contact them (to give them a referral) and chances are they won’t ignore you.


ASK: What was the last great achievement made here?

WHY?: If you get a blank stare, they are (most likely) a worker bee. They are definitely not drinking the company kool-aid which may be bad for you. Why? Not well connected with the company so might not be able to remember opportunities in other departments you might be a fix for.

These are just a few questions and the methods behind the madness. Let me know what you think? Have you tried this method before?