The Leaderboard

Most Read: National

From the Blogosphere

Jena McGregor

Jena McGregor

Staff writer Jena McGregor teases out the leadership issues in the day’s news.

Tom Fox

Tom Fox

Guest contributor Tom Fox, of the Partnership for Public Service, writes weekly about issues in the federal workplace.

Lillian Cunningham

Lillian Cunningham

Lillian Cunningham is the editor of On Leadership and writes features for the section.

Post Leadership
Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 07/13/2012

Attached a Nicolas Cage photo instead of your resume? Here’s what not to do next

From this week’s file of viral Internet phenomena, we have the story of Vanessa Hojda and Her Terrifying (but Hilarious) Email Attachment.

In case you missed “the greatest thing you will see all week,” a 20-year-old student at Toronto’s York University sent an email inquiring about a job and accidentally attached a photo of actor Nicolas Cage, wearing an outright bizarre expression on his face, in lieu of her resume. After the hiring manager alerted her to the mistake and told her the job had already been filled, Hojda blasted the mix-up to her Tumblr page. The rest, we might say, is Internet history.


(Via Hojda’s Tumblr)

Bloggers have spent the week sorting out the apparent career lessons of this gaffe. Time’s NewsFeed reminded job seekers to “please check those emails before you send them, people.” The Wall Street Journal spoke to a recruiter and the author of a resume guide, who advised readers to proofread their application emails and forward them to a friend first to check them. And Gizmodo suggested job seekers keep “resume files in a folder separate from where you keep your weird celebrity snapshots,” name files clearly, and refrain from storing photos of Nic Cage at all, “because should you happen to accidentally send one off to the wrong person, they will know that you keep photos of Nic Cage on your computer.”

People. If there’s a career lesson to be learned in this whole silly meme, it’s not to BROADCAST YOUR MISTAKE ON YOUR TUMBLR FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE.

Hojda could have just as easily realized her gaffe, sent her resume again with an apology and stepped away from the laptop. Sure (had the job been available), plenty of employers would have thought Hojda was crazy and deleted her email. Some would have simply notified her of her mistake and asked her to resend. A few might have thought her humor was intentional—and a stroke of genius.

Now, however, future hiring managers will Google Hojda when she applies for jobs and see that she chose to go public with her goof. For most employers (save perhaps the two that contacted her on Facebook with job offers, as she told the Post’s Jen Chaney), that instinct to ‘go public’ is likely to raise many more questions about what kind of employee she’d be than does the simple error of attaching the wrong document. They’ll see that her mistake gave her 15 seconds of Internet fame, lots of media attention, and 800 new followers on Tumblr.

But of course, maybe that’s really the whole point.

More from On Leadership:

Your mean boss could be insecure

Why ‘work-life balance’ doesn’t work

How to completely destroy an employee’s life at work

Like On Leadership? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

@post_lead | @jenamcgregor | @lily_cunningham

By  |  12:30 PM ET, 07/13/2012

Tags:  nicolas cage, resume, jobs, leadership

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company