My friend Hannah works in Human Resources at a major production company and is in charge of hiring interns and assistants for the executives. One of the big shots at her company gave her the resume of a son of his golfing buddy and told her to interview him. She looked over the resume of "Donny" and was not impressed. Had she received this resume cold she never would have called him in. But because it was handed down by the big shot, she was obligated to interview him.
There was nothing noteworthy about the interview. "Donny" wasn't good, nor was he bad. But there was just something she didn't like about him. After twenty minutes, she wrapped up the interview and sent him on his way. As a common practice, Hannah checked his social media to find out more about him. She read a tweet that said, "In elevator w/ ex-girlfriend lookalike- #wannapunchherintheface."
Of course, it was tweeted mere moments after Donny walked out of Hannah's office--and luckily she saw it. She did a screen grab of the tweet and sent it to the company big shot with a note saying "Donny" would not be hired. No explanation was necessary.
So what can we learn from this?
1. Who submits your resume matters. Personal connections are important, and even the unqualified can get interviews at very prestigious companies. If you can avoid sending a cold email, do.
2. Social media is a great tool, but the real "tool" of this story (Donny) dug his own grave. Threatening posts will not be tolerated. Maybe your friends know you are kidding, but a potential employer doesn't. Tone is sometimes lost when we express ourselves electronically. What made this tweet even worse was that the offensive tweet was made about an employee of the company where Donny wanted to work. We have no idea who the ex-girlfirend lookalike is, but a company will not knowingly put another employee at risk. Also, Hannah just so happened to look at it within a few moments of it being sent, so even if he realized his mistake a few hours later, it was way too late to delete.
3. Go with your gut. When something doesn't feel right, it usually isn't. We don't always get immediate proof that our intuition is working, but in this case, that tweet confirmed Hannah's instinct.