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Funny Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Videos: Professional or faux pas?

Photo illustration by Roe Borunda

Photo illustration by Roe Borunda

 

By Daniel Salas:
Special to The Collegian

 

With the proliferation of video sharing sites in the past few years, such as the popular social media site Twitter, some are asking where to draw the line between appropriate and funny.

Six-second videos of a man moonwalking while cooking in his kitchen, a sofa eating a TV remote in stop-motion and a diverse set of other videos fall under the mobile application’s 15 different categories.

Millions of people post videos to this new social platform, but there’s the question of whether posting videos on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube could harm someone’s chance at getting a job.

“I think there’s a variety, there’s a spectrum, where it depends how important the organization’s values are,” Juan Gutierrez, a career coach at the Career Center, said.

Gutierrez said he knows of many employers that look up potential employees on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. He said they mainly look for profanity or anything obscene on a person’s profile, or pictures of people getting drunk or racist remarks.

Gutierrez said employees still carry the image of their organization with them outside of the workplace.

Sometimes, he said an employer gets their first impression of an applicant by looking at their Facebook profile.

“If they don’t see it as an issue, like the silly stuff, they might not think of it as an issue,” Gutierrez said. “I’m pretty sure a lot of organizations have some type of humor, it just all depends.”

Gutierrez said that he hasn’t heard of employers looking people up on Vine, but he imagines them eventually doing so, like with Instagram.

If and when they do, he said it may actually help an applicant’s chance at getting hired.

Gutierrez said if someone was applying to an organization that uses a lot of multimedia, and they were very creative in their Vine videos, it could work out to that person’s advantage.

“If it meshes well with their organization, they’ll take it into consideration,” Gutierrez said.

Some students don’t think posting silly videos on Vine or YouTube should affect a person’s chances at employment.

“If I was a manager trying to hire that person I don’t think I would judge them based off those videos,” Eric Gonzalez, a psychology major, said. “It’s just them doing stuff in their free time, not company time.

“I personally joke around and do stupid stuff outside of work, but when I’m at work, my whole demeanor changes.

“I’m not in fun mode, I’m in at-work mode.”

Marbella Baltazar, also a psychology major, said she doesn’t think employers should get involved or look into that part of someone’s life.

“There kind of is no exception to that,” she said. “As an employer, it’s their responsibility to meet the person, and that’s why they do interviews, to get a feel for them in person.”

Social websites may not accurately portray who a person is, Baltazar said, because a person’s profile may not contain every detail about who they are.

Gutierrez said that employers generally look at an applicants soft skills and job skills, which include things like confidence, authenticity and integrity. Vine posts, he said, could help reflect those values in a person.