Thursday, March 22, 2012

Go ahead employers, take a look at my thoroughly pointless Facebook page

Kevin Nelson... is really good at Scrabble!!!! GASP!
Kevin Nelson... likes talking about his cats!!!! GASP!
Kevin Nelson... shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die!!!! GASP!
Kevin Nelson... is far too cute!!! GASP!

Any prospective employers wanting to look into my social media background would find bits of information such as this. And that doesn't frighten me.

So when news hit this week that some people are actually asking for potential hires' FB passwords in order to thoroughly vet them, it also didn't frighten me. If you're stupid enough to put stupid stuff on your Facebook page, you just might be too stupid to work.

I approach Facebook as a publishing medium, and as a result, I know (and expect) people to interact with the information I place on it. I know everything that goes up on my Facebook page is something I have written or something I support. I have placed it there for a reason. If someone doesn't like what I have placed there and chooses not to hire me, it's their loss. Yes it's a horrible invasion of privacy, but it's privacy I'm already sacrificing. Nobody has come up to me and threatened to kill me if I didn't reveal how cute I think my cats are (very).
This Scrabbleism might even help in the hiring process.
My main issue with this is why do the companies care. If the person has it set on private settings, do you know who's going to see the updates/pictures/rants/artfully erotic pictures of corncobs? Very few people. 

That also leads to the question of why the potential hires care. They should know they're being looked at from all angles. They wouldn't have put their love (as in "love love") of barnyard animals on a cover letter/resume so shouldn't be surprised when it causes issues from being on Facebook.

I realize this is done just to analyze another portion of the person, and that person can control that point of view, so why aren't they using it to their advantage?

It's weird how people want to distance themselves from social media profiles, yet these same profiles are actually them in a nutshell. The reason employers look at them is they can see how people act. If you don't want someone to think you're a hardcore alcoholic, remove those keg stand pictures. If you don't want someone thinking you cried while watching “Eat, Pray, Love,” take it off of your favorite movies list. And if you don't want someone thinking you're a furry, you probably shouldn't have shown up to that interview wearing your unicorn outfit.

Where these companies have slipped is by asking for the passwords of people who have an account set to private. That I can't support and mainly because I thoroughly enjoy my passwords. My passwords are really good. Sure, I didn't use a string of random alphanumerics, but I'd guess no password cracker would happen upon my codes. I simply based it on a nonsense line I thought up when I was like 12. If I told an employer this password, I'd have to change it. And then odds are I wouldn't get the job. And then I'd need to change it. And then I'd probably forget I changed it. And then I'd try access Facebook from a coffeeshop and/or brothel. And then I'd be locked out. And then I'd curse the company even more for not hiring me.

It's really a vicious cycle.

If a company wants to look at my profile and see how awesome I am at Scrabble, they don't need my password for that. They can simply challenge me to a game of Scrabble and I'll show them how right there live in the office. Scrabble is only the greatest game ever created, odds are the company has a copy, let's game. And if they don't, well I don't want to work there anyway.

Oh, and my social media profiles do showcase how I would kick their collective asses. Don't worry, I definitely have that covered.

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