Did you know that in 2013 the Oxford Dictionary named the word ‘selfie’ the word of the year? The decision was based on the rapid adoption of the word – how quickly it became a common term. Perhaps this is a reflection of our society’s love for social media, and a representation of just how many selfies there are online. Everyone’s doing it. But could your selfie be costing you your dream job?
The social media age
Something that many young grads struggle with is learning how to fit into the workforce amongst professionals who are for the most part older than they are. Young people entering the corporate environment often ask how they can project a more mature representation of themselves to show their more experienced colleagues that they are valuable members of the team.
While more and more peoples’ parents and grandparents join Facebook and other networking sites, social media is still often considered a ‘young person’s game’. So if you want to show your boss or a potential employer that you’re mature and wise beyond your years, perhaps you should think twice before snapping that selfie.
Showing off in a selfie and boasting about your new outfit, or your haircut, or the party you’re at might seem harmless and a bit of silly fun at the time. At the moment you take the selfie, it is all in context and doesn’t seem like it could have any repercussions. But imagine that a potential interviewer stumbles upon your Instagram account a few weeks later when considering you as an applicant for your dream job. What does your selfie say about you now? Be careful – it might convey a sense of narcissism and bragging. You wouldn’t want that to reflect poorly on you during the job application process when your resume describes you as a modest team player.
When hiring a new staff member, employers often look for someone who will put the needs of the company, the team, and the clients ahead of their own. With that in mind, take a moment to consider whether the constant stream of photos taken of yourself, by yourself, are making you appear to be selfish. Could you appear to be a more team-focused employee if you swap that selfie for a group shot that shows how great you are at interacting with others? Flipping the camera around and including others in your shot might just be the thing that helps to win over an employer when they see how much of a ‘people person’ you are.
Best representation of you?
When you attend an interview for your dream job, chances are that you put a lot of effort into your appearance. You choose the right shirt and make sure that it is ironed. You make sure your shoes are clean. And you probably spend a while nervously fixing your hair before leaving the house. The reward of all of this is that you look your best, and you show off the best version of yourself to convince the interviewer to hire you. But if that same interviewer has done an online search for your name and found your selfie in swimmers at the beach, or your dishevelled morning selfie in pyjamas, they might end up picturing that image instead of the polished one you’re showing off at the interview.