A young woman didn’t know that a festive photo of her holding both a pint of beer and a glass of red wine would lead to her losing her high school teaching job.
The 24-year-old educator posted the image to her Facebook profile, and after a parent complained, school officials told her she’d have to choose between resigning and suspension. She resigned.
If those same school officials were hiring and found a candidate with a similar photo shared on the social Web, it’s most likely that person wouldn’t even get an interview.
According to a new report, turning down young job candidates because of what they post on social media has become commonplace. The report, (On Device Research), states that 1 in 10 people between ages 16 and 34 have been turned down for a new job because of photos or comments on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites.
Ten percent of young people said they knew they were rejected from a job because of their social media profiles, yet 66 percent of young people still don’t seem to care that these profiles may affect their career prospects.
The majority of young people cater their social media presence to friends rather than potential employers, according to On Device Research.
Several U.S. states have created laws to protect employees from being fired because of what they post on social media. In January, six U.S. States officially made it illegal for employers to ask their workers for passwords to their social media accounts.
It’s unclear how many employers have demanded access to workers’ online accounts, but some cases have surfaced publicly and inspired lively debate over the past year. In one instance last year, a teacher’s aide in Michigan was suspended after refusing to provide access to her Facebook account following complaints over a picture she posted.
We should all watch what we post,
Whether photos, comments or boasts,
Some employers are snoopers,
They seek out our bloopers,
When we broadcast them from coast to coast.
We may think we’re cool when we post things,
But they could hit us hard like a bee sting,
Competition is tough,
Some employers are rough,
So be careful when you do that spring fling.
© 2013 Ronald J. Yarosh
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