Imagine going out with friends on a Friday night, having some drinks, falling flat on your face on the walk home and having your friends take pictures of you drunk and passed out.  Then the dreaded “tag” pops up on your Facebook.  This can get you fired.

Or try imagining working a job that you absolutely hate and “tweeting” about how much you wish you could be any where but there.  This too can get you fired.

Who woulda thunk it?

It only takes 140 characters to get a person fired and possibly published across multiple Web sites.  One waiter who worked at a restaurant in Los Angeles was fired after one too many tweets about celebrities.  It was the shot heard around the world,  even the Telegraph in the United Kingdom published an article about the tweeting waiter.  Not really the fifteen minutes of fame most people would want, right?

It is hard to imagine that 140 characters has the ability to have a person fired.  Social media is not just for friends anymore, especially with an outlet like Twitter.  Obviously social media has become a part of the every day lives of many people over the past few years, many people are just beginning to realize how much of a threat it could be.  And not just for people who already have jobs…

For the people on the job hunt:  You may never think about the possibility of not being hired because of some picture your friends “tagged” you in on Facebook, but it is becoming more common, 45% more common actually. More employers are now searching prospective employees as a way to determine whether or not to hire him or her.  This can be a simple Google search or looking up a person on Facebook.

Be prepared.  If you are someone who is graduating soon and will be looking for a job, try this…Google yourself.  See what comes up.  You may be surprised or even better, you may be well on your way to a new job.  🙂

And if you are someone who already has a job, never, ever “tweet” like these people.