Fools and Silence: Your Digital Audition

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Abraham Lincoln once said (paraphrasing Proverbs 17:28)

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

If you’re a self-aggrandizing d-bag and you use social media; your commentary will be preserved and indexed for all to find.  Employers.  Romantic prospects.  Grandchildren.  Etc.

I think this might be the exception to the advice I subscribe to that everyone should be using social media.  This has become apparent after a couple of recent hiring processes I’ve watched.  There were definitely some candidates that were quickly tossed out of the running with their insights laid bare on a blog or Twitter feed.

Every prospective employee is now between a rock and a hard place:  if I’m hiring for a position I’m definitely going to google you and evaluate you on what I turn up.  If I don’t find anything I’m either a) going to suspect there’s something wrong that you’re trying to hide, or b) conclude you’re not web-savvy and automatically disqualify you for the job.

This must be what it feels like to be any sort of public figure looking for work.  Everyone can see your track record, be it sales of your last album, reviews of your books, your batting average, or photos of your latest chocolate centerpiece.  I recently had the chance to learn how to fold sugar ribbons (photos above) with Chef Gilles Renusson at GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and given the photographic evidence now available, no one will ever hire me as a pastry chef.

I think the only remedy to being a moron is having a healthy dose of humility about what you’re publishing, or to make up for it with passion/heart.

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