Social Media controls our lives, connects us to others, and according to research is now a detrimental factor in employment termination. Who knew Facebook and Twitter could get us fired? Our Facebook profiles can either portray our social resume in a flattering light or they can reveal unflattering and scandalous things about ourselves that can get us fired. “Although it is viewed as more of a truly social network as compared to LinkedIn, employers are still checking you out, trying to develop a better picture of you as a candidate,” said the Director of Career Services at Purdue University, Shelly Robinson.
Not only does Facebook have an impact in getting hired for your dream job, it also has an affect on your current job. If you post any disrespectful or harmful content about the organization you work for you can expect a prompt termination. This is the case for 3 individuals who got fired through the use of social media:
1. The Taco Bell Scandal
An image of a Taco Bell employee licking a stack of taco shells at the famous fast food restaurant went viral during the summer of 2013.
2. Denver Math Teacher’s Tweets
Carly McKinney was a tenth-grade math teacher who was asked to leave the school after she had an inappropriate Facebook account in which she would tweet pictures of her smoking marijuana and posting about her “hot” students.
3. California Pizza Kitchen Server
California Pizza Kitchen server Timothy DeLaGhetto posted a YouTube video claiming he was terminated due to complaining about his company’s uniform on Twitter.
According to the Hiffongton Post, “The site’s users can sometimes be a bit too open, posting pictures, opinions, videos, and jokes via the social networking site that give employers pause—and employees the boot.” The University of Florida has developed a list of general tips which will portray your social media accounts in a professional light:
- Choose your “friends” wisely
They can upload, tag, and post inappropriate things on your profile.
- Post content with discernment
People are always watching especially employees who you are involved with
- Never use Facebook as an outlet for frustration
Political positions and disagreements should not take place across social networks
- Take advantage of Facebook as a networking tool
- Spend time learning about privacy settings
Overall, the way in which we use our social media pages impacts not only the way other see us but also has an effect on our professional career.
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Broderick, Ryan. “10 People Who Learned Social Media Can Get You Fired.” CNN. Cable News
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“Maintaining Professionalism on Facebook: Tips for Extension Agents1.” EDIS New Publications
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