How Social Media Can Help (or Hurt) Your Chances of Getting Hired

See this guy? His name is Clay Song and he was a student in my USC 2014 class. We caught up last week, and boy, oh boy, was I inspired!

Clay is an animator, and for three semesters in a row he applied to the Nickelodeon internship program and was rejected. His dreams of working as an animator kept moving forward, but when it came time to apply for an internship his senior year, he decided he should put his attention elsewhere.

Well, a miracle happened and he got a call from Nickelodeon saying, “Hi Clay, we’ve noticed you’ve applied every semester but this one. How come? Would you like to interview here?”

I have no idea what made them call Clay again, but apparently he made just enough of an impression by applying multiple times—so they gave him a shot!

Clay took the bus from USC to Glendale for his interview at Nickelodeon. As he stepped off the bus, he saw a homeless man who needed change, and so Clay reached into his pocket and gave him some. He then confidently walked into his interview and nailed it! As Clay walked back to the bus stop, he realized that he’d given his bus money to the man in need, and didn’t have money to get home. To make matters worse, it was during class time, so he couldn’t call a friend to pick him up, and Uber was out of the question due to his tight finances at the time.

So what did Clay decide to do?

He walked.

Oh yes, you read that correctly. He walked 10 miles (4 hours) from Glendale to downtown LA and recorded his journey on Snapchat.

As Human Resources is known to do, they took a peek at Clay’s social media, post-interview (his snap story would go on to be featured on Buzzfeed). A few hours later, Clay got a call saying, “Hi Clay, we watched your snap story and loved it! We want to offer you the internship!”

Now, I haven’t spoken to the people who hired Clay, but I can only imagine that they saw what I already knew: Clay has a great attitude when faced with a challenge. His character, attitude, and humor shined in his story! Oh, yeah, he’s also a very talented artist—just check out his instagram. (Clay is also working as a production coordinator at Shadow Machine, an animation studio that produces a lot of Adult Swim content.)

Negative Social Media

So how can social media hurt you? Well, check out this storyabout Hannah. She works in HR at a major, worldwide company and shows how a single tweet ended the process for one very unlucky applicant who wanted to work there.

Social media isn’t good, nor is it bad. Same as fire: it can cook your food, heat your house, bend metal, provide mood lighting for a romantic dinner, or it can burn your house and ravage acres of land, etc. You get the idea. Simply put: social media is a tool that requires great responsibility and care. When used correctly, it can help your chances of getting hired. So make sure your digital imprint is an accurate reflection of who you really are!

Has social media helped or hurt your own job hunting? Email me and let me know!