They Will Stalk You

gcA couple of weeks ago, I reblogged an article by John Lucas Hargis about agents and how they stalk us on the internet. Guess who else stalks us? Potential employers. I’ve been out of the work force for a few months, but I’m trying to find a new job so I can afford book covers and shiny things and sparkly shoes for my daughter. And food and stuff too.

Anyway, when looking for jobs today, I came across a posting where the employer asked applicants to forward a resume along with links to Facebook and Twitter. Now, it’s not exactly a secret that employers do some digging into a potential (or existing) employee’s background. I don’t have a problem with this. Like I tell my kids, if it’s on the internet, it’s on public display. Whether or not an employer can fire an existing employee for internet shenanigans is a legal issue I’m not qualified to comment on, but I can understand why a company would do a bit of cyber-stalking prior to interviewing a candidate for employment. After all, the wise job seeker researches the company they’re applying for before interviewing, right? So it stands to reason an employer would want to do the same.

Before I began writing, I was practically un-google-able. I didn’t have a Facebook or a Twitter. Flash forward three years and I’m everywhere. Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, Google +, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin… everywhere. I have to wonder what potential employers will think of me if they Google my name and see a million-jillion pages of stuff. Every interview I’ve posted on Authors to Watch, every blog post, every Tweet, every Facebook status update–it’s all out there on display. I’m okay with that. I don’t have anything to be embarrassed about.

But, what will people think? Will potential employers be impressed I’ve kept myself busy during the eight month gap on my resume? Or, will they be afraid to hire me? Maybe they’ll worry that my writerly pursuits will interfere with my ability to give one-hundred percent on the job. Or, maybe they’ll worry I’ll write a book about them if things go bad. There’s no point worrying about it. And, really, I’m not worried. It is what it is.

I’m sure there’s a job out there for me. Somewhere, there’s a boss who is looking for an employee who has a good working knowledge of social media. A boss who is willing to overlook the big old gap in my resume where I cast aside accounting and played with words instead. Somewhere, there’s a boss who will stalk my Facebook page and be impressed by the sheer number of Grumpy Cat pictures I’ve posted. Everyone likes Grumpy Cat, right?

9 thoughts on “They Will Stalk You

  1. I love Grumpy Cat! I feel bad for her, too, but I love her. 🙂

    I hope the job hunt is quick and painless for you. If I were an employer I’d be very impressed if I saw that someone kept busy with challenging and intellectual pursuits instead of doing nothing productive for eight years.

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  2. Good luck with the job hunt, Tricia! I hope the right one comes along for you.
    Personally, I’d rather an employee who can think along many levels, opposed to only being good with accounting. It shows a well-rounded individual. Also, I’ve spent many hours looking at Grumpy Cat memes and would feel that you were a like minded soul 🙂

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  3. Best wishes on the job hunt Tricia!! I enjoyed your blog post because it brought me into the reality of our modern day…employers actually reviewing prospective employees’ web activity. Boy I suddenly had a major leap backwards into Orwell’s 1984! I guess because seeking employment isn’t an issue for me right now, this reality never occurred to me but it is VERY REAL! THANK YOU for the bitch slap to reality and that my every move on the internet is open to public scrutiny!

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  4. Hopefully employers look at the big picture when it comes to social media. As in, they’re looking to see if you’re a well-rounded individual with no mass-murdering tendencies. And since you do not give off a mass-murdering vibe (which I can totally tell you were worried about, lol :D), I’d say you’re good to go!

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  5. I have a niece who works in an accounting management capacity of some sort for a major textbook publisher in Ohio. Do you want to email your resume to me and i’ll forward same to her?

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  6. Because of my job and my writing, I am virtually unhideable on the internet. Google my first name and I come up on page 2. I don’t say this to brag (because seriously, my book sales rank still holds 6 figures instead of something like 3 or less), but because anyone can find me on the internet. So I’ve learned early on to watch what I do online. Of course, things get interesting when I forget to log myself out of, say, YouTube, and my 12 year old son uses my account to comment on gaming videos. Suddenly, “Crissi Langwell” looks very interested in Minecraft and modifying game controllers – and comments on every video. Fun stuff.

    At any rate, good luck on the job hunt! Hopefully something will come up soon!

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