Kickass Masterminds, a marketing company, posted an image of one applicant, Emily Clow, on their Instagram page. The image – which has been removed – was captioned “Do not share your social media with a potential employer if this is the kind of content on it.”
Clow had applied for a marketing position with the company. She was interested in the role because “it was a company founded by women, seemed to support women in business and worked with start-ups.”
The application form asked applicants to submit their Instagram or Facebook handles. Clow submitted her Instagram handle, and then went on to follow the company’s page.
She was not ready for what she found.
The post’s caption continued, “I am looking for a professional marketer - not a bikini model. Go on with your bad self and do whatever in private. But this is not doing you any favors in finding a professional job.”
Speaking to BBC, Clow stated; “I went through their company story [on Instagram] and saw they had posted my picture. I honestly was taken aback. I wasn't sure how to react and it took me a while to process what had happened. I decided to reach out to the company first and told them how I had archived the photo and appreciated their advice. I sent a follow-up email shortly after with my resume, cover letter and saying how I hope to hear from them soon. I asked at the bottom of the email to please take down the story and thanked them for understanding.”
Sara Christensen, chief executive at Kickass Mastermind, stated that the photo was removed as soon as they got Clow’s request.
However, Clow stated that this was not true, and that she had to ask numerous times. Instead of complying with her request, the company blocked her.
In response, Clow took to Twitter to air her grievance.
Many people had differing opinions about the situation. One user stated that Clow’s dredding was appropriate for the environment she was in, while another stated that companies usually view applicants’ profiles on social media to determine if they are suited for the job.
However, another user stated that both parties were at fault.
Christensen told BBC that Clow “was not disqualified because of her social media profile. In fact, she was not disqualified at all. There was no communication to her saying she was disqualified. I have an email communication from her still expressing interest in the position after the post.”
The company received backlash from people, and even had to make their accounts private because of “death threats and harassing messages.”
“We have taken down our social accounts and website because of numerous death threats and thousands of harassing messages,” Christensen stated.
On her part, Clow stated that she has since received offers of "interviews and opportunities" from other companies.