301.519.9237 exdirector@nesaus.org

9.16.19 – CI – 

You never know who’ll be on the other side of that resume you send. Even if you don’t know the company and they don’t know you, there might be a connection.

I wrote last week about how exit interviews have largely outlived their usefulness and can often do more harm than good to those who engage in them.

But the career trap doors don’t end when you turn in your door access badge and lose access to your company email address. Too many people these days are all too eager to jump on social media and trash their former employers or particular people who made their lives less pleasant.

We’re looking to add to the CI staff and going through the interview and reference check process.

For those who don’t know, I spent more than 10 years working for a large newspaper company that’s only continued to add to its stable of newspapers while slashing staff in the decade or so since I left.

Because of the size of the company and my lengthy stay with it, I had my fair share of editors and co-workers over the years.

Three of them, including two of my former direct supervisors, made their way to the bottom of the resume of one of the applicants for a job with CI as references this week.

Most people are smart enough not to include people who they’ve scrapped with or had office clashes with among their references, but it was certainly interesting reconnecting with three people I knew so well and being comfortable enough to ask them the “tough” questions about this particular applicant.

The good news for this applicant is all three of the references were effusive with their praise, although pointing out a few potential landmines from earlier in the applicant’s career [that certainly have proven to be non-issues so far in our dealings with the applicant].

This applicant had no idea we ever worked for the same large company because I was gone by the time he started as an intern—at the urging of one of my former editors, who was also one of his college professors.

This applicant didn’t know I’d know all three of his references as well as I did and be able to probe a bit deeper about his suitability for the company and the position. But at least he was smart enough not to go from a former employee of the large company to its most outspoken critic on social media.

Keep Your Criticisms Private

I certainly understand the temptation to trash your former employer and supervisors once you’ve left a particular job, especially once you’ve landed what you consider to be a better position for you and your long-term future.

It’s a little more dangerous to do it if you’re “between jobs” since those who might be interviewing you are more likely than ever to check your social media activity. After all, they probably don’t want to hire someone who slams them as you’re walking out the door.

And, just remember: you never know who’s going to be on the other side of that resume you send. Even if you don’t know them and they don’t know you, they could know the people you know and that might be enough to cost you your dream job.

Remember what Walt Disney told you: it’s a small world, after all. Good luck getting this song out of your head for the rest of the day.