On Selfies and Employment

via Dr. Tracy Alloway, professor at the University of North Florida:

Every narcissist needs a reflecting pool. Just as Narcissus gazed into the pool to admire his beauty, social networking sites, like Facebook, have become our modern-day pool.

How do you react to this? How do you react typically when you see a selfie posted in your own social network?

When I thought about this explicitly I had to laugh because I think that I am the only person that I follow on Twitter that actually does the so-called selfie. I have typically made them somewhat goofy and I surround them with some other pictures at times.

But, I did this yesterday after a long (but amazing) meeting with my partners for our annual Partner Meeting:


It made me wonder about how many I do a month and so I looked back for the month of September. This was last week:


And this in which I was showcasing the cool shirt (but it is of my face, so, I suppose it is a “selfie”):


And this (picture taken of myself while I was chatting with my wife who was upset with me after she told me something for the 10th time):


And then this:


Not exactly a selfie but a very old picture of me and a friend at a photoshoot. Some might call it a selfie…?


And that was it for September. 6 selfies, about 1.5 every week and I’m pretty sure that was a “big” month for selfies. In August I had 1 that might be considered a selfie (probably not) and in July I had none.

So, yes, September was an all-time high. I must becoming more narcissistic…

Another important question that I’ve been considering is how selfies impact employment, especially for those that are actively seeking new employment.

Our students @ The Iron Yard, for instance, are coached on their responsibility toward good social media behavior and also managing / curating their online and digital brands through such things as blogging and social networking use.

Will a selfie harm a students’ future prospects? One or two here or there probably won’t do anything negative (although it is impossible to know what each interviewer or hiring manager might think through their own personal biases).

Thinking through this as an employer I would not react negatively if I saw a few but if I saw one every single day or multiple times a day I’d begin to wonder about their intent. In fact, I think I’d just straight-up ask them in an interview if we ever got to that point (so far I have never asked a single person about their selfie habits).

Here’s one supporting theory in that line of thought – in an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Pamela Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Centre in Boston, Massachusetts, shares these thoughts:

Preoccupation with selfies can be a visible indicator of a young person with a lack of confidence or sense of self that might make him or her a victim of other problems as well.

Essentially, Dr. Rutledge believes that an excessive amount of selfies, especially those that might be considered “provocative,” is a form of “acting out” and could be a “cry for help.”

Eh… not exactly the type of person I want to hire (if those things might be found as true in that particular individual).

Fascinating employer challenges… right?