Posting cynical comments about an employer on social media can cost employees and job and career seekers dearly
Commor Riley’s legendaty “Cisco Fatty” tweet should be a cautionary tale for job hunters and career seekers everywhere.
Riley, a UC Berkley grad, was offered a job at Cisco—a worldwide leader in internet networking. Riley shared her feelings regarding the job offer by tweeting “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”
A person claiming to be employed at Cisco spotted Riley’s post and replied, “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.”
Infamously dubbed the “Cisco Fatty” tweet, Cisco immediately rescinded the job offer. Riley denied the claim that Cisco had rescinded the job offer, claiming she had declined the position. Either way, the damage was done.
In fact, Morgan Stanley now uses the “Cisco Fatty” tweet as an example to teach new hires what not to do online.
Regardless of whether Cisco rescinded their job offer or Riley declined it, future potential employers will easily find Riley’s tweet 20, 30 or 100 years from now in a routine check of her internet history and will most likely choose not to offer her a position, or a paycheck.
If you’re a job or career seeker, or anyone with a job or reputation worth protecting, ask yourself these questions before posting anything on social media, or anywhere online for that matter:
1. Who can see or read this post? Public posts can be seen by anybody, anywhere in the world, including your boss, your coworkers, governments, and even criminals. So ask yourself if the post is appropriate for all audiences.
2. Will my post offend anyone? If so, am I okay with the potential feedback from those who were offended? If this post or the information in it is shared with people you didn’t intend to share it with, what problems might it cause for you or for others mentioned or shown in the post?
3. Does my post contain any hidden data (for example, geotags in photos or videos)? Is it okay to share that information? Note: if you’re unsure whether your images or videos contain hidden data such as geotags, it’s feasible that you’ve been sharing location and other personal information unintentionally.
4. Knowing that this post is permanent and will still exist online for decades and beyond in the future, is it in your best interest to share it?
5. Are you sharing information about someone else in the post? Consider how you might feel if someone posted this information about you, knowing as you do that it would remain online permanently? Before including information on another person, think about asking their permission first.
The rule of thumb is to stop and think about the potential outcome of a post before you hit send. Sit on your hands, examine your motives, and make a decision with which you can live comfortably. Everyone who has faced repurcussions for a post they sent in haste wishes, in hindsight, they had thought it through first.
free PR tip for career seekers