How not to get a job

Some of you attended the Brown Bag the J-School’s student recruitment and outreach committee held early this month.

If you missed it and you’re starting to scan the landscape for internship and job possibilities, you might want to read this wonderful (and entertaining) piece from NewsLab about how people blow it when they’re job-hunting. (Check out the wonderful photograph that a prospective employer found of a job candidate on social media, and be glad that’s not you passed out among beer bottles.)

Also, don’t wait for employers to post their internship opportunities. Send your stuff where you think you’d like to work. You could end up one step ahead of the crowd.

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17 Responses to How not to get a job

  1. Dustin says:

    As Mark Russell told us last Friday, “If your grandma wouldn’t want to see it, why would I want to see it?”

  2. Sean Leahy says:

    That picture is yet another reason to tidy up your social networking profiles. You never know who is looking at you.

  3. Briana Gust says:

    I would hope that somebody would pull that picture off their social networking profile – for their own dignity.

    These tips are very helpful as I’m currently applying for internships! Thanks 🙂

  4. EmokeBebiak says:

    So, I totally went ahead and googled myself… I’ve found nothing embarrassing (besides my dorky Flickr photos of buildings).

    After our discussions about Facebook and social networking, I am still not sure how much I can share on FB with my friends, what I can tweet about, etc. For example, how about retweets? Can I retweet Colbert or Stewart or the HuffPost?

    But I do see that the woman passed out on that table didn’t get the job. It should go on Failbook!

  5. Caitlin Wherley says:

    If that was me, I wouldn’t even want my best friend seeing that. But then again, she would probably be the one that took the picture.
    I find it interesting that on Who’s Talkin’ I can find everything I’ve written on my blog and for the Missourian homepage and blog, but I can’t find my Twitter posts or Facebook posts. Is this because I have “private” profiles on each?

    The NewsLab link had some great tips for finding jobs and internships, and it’s something I think we should all keep in mind as we’re looking for jobs in the next few years.

  6. Audrey Moon says:

    It is opening season for internship hunting! Something I have learned while looking for internships is that you can’t start too soon. I am looking for summer 2011 internships and have found that many of the paid positions have November 1 deadlines.

    Thanks for the great tips, I will be using them.

  7. Wow. Bad move on the picture. Really bad move.

    Thanks for the tips!

  8. Ben Frentzel says:

    I’m almost scared of how big and important social media sites like Facebook have become. Was it really intended to be used for interview reconnaissance and professional applications?

    I have my serious doubts.

  9. Johanna Somers says:

    I have been telling people Facebook is not private no matter what, this just goes to show you should monitor everything that is posted on your Facebook and that some people probably shouldn’t even keep a Facebook page.

    I appreciate the tip about brushing up on Congress people and Representatives, you definitely want to be on your game when it comes to politics, current events and really all news…if possible.

  10. rosiedowney says:

    This article had a good tip about writing an excellent cover letter. In my opinion this is really important. If we want to be writers shouldn’t the first example of our writing be stellar?

  11. The picture and story seem the stuff of urban legend. If I were the potential employer I’m not sure what would have turned me away first, the picture or the fact that she didn’t have the technical savvy to control her basic privacy settings.

    Lately, though, I’ve been wondering about Facebook protocol. I have a friend who was friend requested by his boss. He was fine with it, nothing to hide, but I was wondering how common this is.

    It seems that even if someone has a mom friendly FB profile it can still be personal. Or no? Is the site so much a part of who we are that those limits are fading?

    • reedkath says:

      David, my husband, also believes that the photo is staged and “urban legend,” but it certainly illustrates an important point. We can complain all we want about how employers use social media to get a fuller sense of the person who sat across the table, smiling and polished at the job interview. But we have to acknowledge the reality. And I have to say that as a person who once did a lot of hiring, I would use every tool at my disposal to try to find out what a prospective employee was really like because hiring is hard and a mistake is expensive. I once hired a woman who seemed absolutely fabulous in the interview and had good references, and she turned out to be a total sociopath. And I use the term advisedly. She created a toxic atmosphere in the work place and, ultimately, had to be encouraged to go find a “better fit.” It was awful, and it shook me up. People who interview really well sometimes aren’t great employees. So I can see the temptation to use Facebook for a closer look.

  12. asgrund says:

    I think this article makes it clear that there is a difference between creativity and foolishness. Sending your resume to your potential interviewer’s spouse or including bribes is foolishness.

    Like Johanna, I find the tip about possibly being pop-quizzed during an interview a good one. I was glad that the article mentioned being both positive and honest. The two are not exclusive.

  13. While I agree that we should be conducting and presenting ourselves in a professional manner on all platforms, I am still uncertain as to why employers hold so much weight on tweets and Facebook profiles.
    Of course, this picture is an extreme and disgusting example, but I don’t understand why a picture of me in a party atmosphere means that I don’t have the ability to be professional when appropriate. I’m not going to walk in with a Solo cup to the interview. And even if I make my profile the epitome of Ms. Journalist 2010, does that really mean I’m more qualified than the candidate whose interests include beer pong? I think a polished profile would actually make me more skeptical…anyone can reinvent themselves on the internet. I think it’s sad the way we have abused Facebook and Twitter, making them criteria of hiring and firing.
    I think Stephen Colbert would all be very proud of us young journalists for keeping fear alive. Oh wait sorry….for #keepingfearalive.

  14. Allison Seibel says:

    I think this is a really great article. I mean…I feel like I already knew most of it, but obviously not everyone does. How could someone send in a DVD looking like that or mention murder and rape in a cover letter!? That is outrageous!! Also, I do agree with not waiting for internships to be posted. I went to New York City last year with Magazine Club and made sure to get cards from all the editors I met at different magazines. I started emailing them to ask about internships, and they are all extremely nice. I also own a book by Teen Vogue about how to get a job in the business. One of the great quotes from it was “Email all the editors you can. You never know who will say yes.” And I think that is SO true. You just never know!

  15. Oh.. this reminds me of the epic occasion where a Missouri JSchooler’s tumblr account so famously featured pictures of her smoking from some glass, repeatedly, in a Mizzou T-Shirt. This quickly found its way to twitter and soon enough it was in the eyes of many Alum.

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