Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Sunday, December 27, 2015

"Pitfalls of social media in background checks"/ "What are your references saying?"

Nov. 1 "Pitfalls of social media in background checks": I cut out this article in 24 hrs on Mar. 19, 2012.  It doesn't say who wrote it.  It has a picture of a young white guy holding a laptop and images floating out of it.

The tips are:

1. Check yourself out- on the internet to see what is about you.

2. Keep your mouth shut- don't say anything bad about your work.

3. Keep private sites private.

4. Know your rights- future bosses can not discriminate you because of your race, gender, sexual orientation.

I did find a similar article here:

"What are your references saying?": I cut out this article by Carolyn McTighe in 24 News on Mar. 19, 2012.  It turns out I wrote a summary of it a few years ago on my blog:

Here is the whole article.  What's interesting is, I wrote the above summary of social media article, and the article is in the link below: 

You can never be too careful when it comes to choosing the right references to list on your resumé. Though many of us carefully select people to vouch for us who we trust and have a good rapport with, perceived friendships do not always guarantee good recommendations.

Trina Perri, a freelance photographer from Calgary, knows exactly what it’s like to get a bad reference from someone she thought she could rely on and the toll it can take on your ability to land a good job.

“A few years ago I found that I was having a really hard time getting hired,” says Perri. “I kept applying for jobs and I would get as far as the interview, but would never get hired.

“There was even one job I applied for that the employer told me I was shoe-in for. When I ended up not getting it I actually contacted the person and they told me I had been given a bad reference from one of my former employers. I was shocked to say the least.”

Through a process of elimination Perri was able to figure out exactly which former employer it was and confronted them. After speaking with the woman, Perri learned that despite agreeing to be a reference her old boss was still holding a grudge over Perri’s decision to leave her last job and move on.

“It turned out the she was angry that I had left and she felt I had abandoned her,” says Perri. “The funny thing was that I honestly thought this person was a friend and I could trust her. I began to question if I could trust my other references.

Thankfully, since taking her off my resumé, I’ve had no trouble getting hired.”

Though it’s not always possible to know in advance which references will help or hinder your future employment opportunities, Louise Fox, director of Toronto’s Protocol Solutions, an etiquette and customer service teaching company, says that it is best to go with your gut. If you suspect someone might be holding a grudge or you and a former employer parted ways acrimoniously, leave them off your list.

“You don’t need to list all your former employers as references,” says Fox. “Don’t put anyone on your reference list without asking permission from them and if in doubt ask them if they are ‘comfortable’ giving a positive reference. If there has been a problem in your past relationship you should say that you’ll understand if they would prefer not to, but always ask and don’t assume anything.”

If, however, you do choose to leave references off your resumé, especially those from recent employers, Fox suggests you prepare to be questioned about it.

Holding back information from future bosses or being negative about your former boss to shine a more favourable light on yourself is something you should avoid no matter how uncomfortable the truth may be.

“The fact is you may have been very competent in your former job but just not a good fit in the position or with the company, so if questioned you might explain that fact rather than telling them your boss didn’t like you or that you didn’t get along,” Fox says.

“I’m not advocating lying, because the fact is your boss may not have liked you, but when it comes to anything negative you should really avoid it and also avoid lying.”

And if you suspect a reference may not be giving you the most glowing recommendation investigate and question them. Learn how you’re being reviewed and remedy it before it costs you your dream job.

"Building and managing your brand online": I cut out this article by James Davidson in 24 News on Mar. 19, 2012.  However, I couldn't find the exact article.   I did find this and it's pretty similar in topics:

A no-name brand might be just the ticket for a bargain-hunter at the grocery store, but it doesn't do the job in a job search, when your own brand may be all that sets you apart from the crowd.

A personal brand "is the 'X' factor that differentiates a person from other job candidates," says consulting firm PwC Canada. It's about knowing who you are, what you can do, and presenting yourself online and in person in a way that supports and promotes that persona.

"Its important for students to accurately portray themselves online as they would in-person," says James Davidson, talent acquisitions manager for PwC Canada. "Having a profile you wouldn't be ashamed to show your parents on all of the major social networks — LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Profiles — is the first step in managing your online reputation."

That also works the other way, says Davidson — since the majority of millennials (people aged 18-34) tend to be techno-proficient, companies also have to present themselves online in such a way as to attract prospective employees to their brands.

"A company website, blog, Facebook or LinkedIn page can help applicants discover more about its corporate values, work environment and corporate social responsibility practices," says Davidson, citing a 2008 report on millennials that suggested the majority of people in that age group wanted to work for a company that reflected their own values. They tend to be attracted as potential employees to the same brands whose social and environmental records make them appealing to consumers.

One thing hasn't changed with the age of the workforce: networking is still key, says Davidson, and not just in the job space."

"People often think about networking if they need something —_a job, a reference, some advice — but they don't think about how their relationships directly shape them as a professional," says Davidson. "If you only pay attention to your network when it's convenient, your relationships won't be very strong and your personal brand and career development will suffer."


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