Unemployable Because Of My Instagram Followers
I sit staring at the computer screen saying “I could do that job with my eyes shut”. I scroll down to the requirements… A bachelors degree - check. Have 2 years writing experience - check. Organised and able to work in a fast paced environment - check. Must have over 5k instagram followers… sorry what?
So here I am, 7 months after leaving my job - still with no full time employment. Sure, I’m getting by with various avenues such as painting, setting up my own art class and freelance social media work, but it’s not cutting the mustard. Previously, I’ve said that I’ve applied for over 200 jobs and I think I’m nearly reaching 300 and with all the hours of typing my name, where I’m from and 3 words to describe myself, it’s all getting a bit ridiculous. The amount of applications I have gone through is probably the same amount of Calvin Kliens Justin Bieber has.
We all have applied for a job where they ask very peculiar questions such as: How do you take your coffee? Or, If you were a fruit, what one would you be? But recently amongst all these trivial questions is one statement that is coming out to be a real deal breaker. How many instagram followers do you have?
Now I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel as though I’m living in a black mirror world. Everything depends on your social media following. I get it though - maybe for certain jobs you need to have that online presence like a TV presenter or whatever. However, I’m applying for content writing and similar positions, so why does the business I am applying too, have to know my profile by numbers? I heard about this a few months ago when an influencer in LA instastoried about her friend who had roughly 5,000 followers and therefore a company she had applied too, rejected her profile because she needed to have at 10,000 on the photo sharing platform. I sat there in shock, thinking “What kind of company is this?” sooner to find out, I would be in the same position.
I sit there, thinking of all those people who simply use social media for it’s original purpose, connecting with family and friends from across the world, share memories and use it as a digital diary of the 21st century. What about them? It seems irrelevant if you have a 1st class honours from a top ranking university or that you have 62547 years experience, but the amount of strangers that follow your account makes you a whole, more employable human being.
I personally use my social media platforms or different reasons. Facebook is a place where I post my holiday snaps, updates and connect with family and friends. It’s a pretty safe zone. My Instagram is much more refined, as I like to have a certain aesthetic. Because I am trying to grow the platform as a freelance business, having a certain look is what I want to put on there. However, I am just shy over 1,000 followers which is a very small number compared to other ‘non influencer people’ I know. So even though I am using my Instagram for a possible business and display my skills as a photographer and curator, it is being used against me because of the numbers. My goal is to eventually be paid for advertisement on the platform but I'm a long way off. I think the point I'm making is that when you're just applying for an 'ordinary' job, why do they need to know about your social media?
It also got me thinking, why would a company want me to have a certain amount of followers? Do they want me to give them a plug to draw in numbers because they can’t do it themselves? It’s scary to think that companies are starting to invest in ‘popular’ social media people just to promote their business and using it against them in their position.
What stereotypical attributes does a person with more followers have?
Travels the globe?
Eats out every night?
Occasionally shows off their bum/boobs?
We all know this is a lie. I even admitted to using instagram as a curated platform, it just baffles me that this is happening. When you think back to a few years ago, people would tell you not to publish anything online that you wouldn't want a future employer to see. Fast forward too today and it is the complete opposite! They want to see your creativity, passions and weigh up on the competition of other people.
I'm not too sure where I was going with this post or even how to give out any advice. Just thought I would share what's going on at the moment. I would love to know if you have been in a similar situation or know anyone that has. x