Blogging and Your Career

by Evil HR Lady on March 2, 2009

I have heard many stories about job applicants who are rejected because of drunken photos of themselves that they have posted on the Internet.

Don’t worry. I have no plans to start posting pictures of my wild parties. However, I started a blog recently. I know that it is common for prospective employers to search the Internet to dig up dirt on job applicants, so I am wary of putting too much personal information, good or bad, on my blog. My concern is that some employers might refuse to hire me because of my political, religious, and ideological views. Is this a valid concern? What suggestions do you have for blogging so that I do not hurt my future career? Thanks for your advice.

Ahh, internet anonymity. A subject near and dear to my heart. Obviously I’m someone who was concerned because I didn’t start out blogging under my real name. (Incidentally, although I don’t blog under my real name, I write under my real name, Suzanne Lucas, at US News.)

So, the answer to this is very important to me. I can’t give you a definitive answer, but I think I would be hesitant to put my name out there if I was putting information down I didn’t want to come up in a job interview.

I came to the realization that the next time I’m on a job search, I want to work for a company that likes Evil HR Lady’s views. If they don’t, I really don’t want to work there. (Unless I get desperate, then I’ll deny, deny, deny!)

But my blog is related to my job. I’m very careful not to comment on companies I’ve worked for or even specific industry related things. I want everyone reading this to know that my views represent MY views and not any company’s views.

You aren’t looking to do a professional related blog. You’re interested in politics, religion and ideology. Can that hurt you? Sure. Especially if you take super whacko views on something.

Would I be careful about what I put in the internet? Absolutely. Would I want to know before hiring someone that they held a firm belief in the the flatness of the earth and want Kansas to be declared the center of the universe? Umm, yeah.

Would I advise recruiters and hiring managers to scour the web looking for any bit of evidence of what a candidate writes? No. Would I label a recruiter remiss if she didn’t run a google search on the candidate in addition to a background search? Yes.

So, can your blogging hurt you? Yes. Be careful what you say. Blog anonymously, but as you do so, remember that your anonymity is really a false sense of security. It’s not THAT hard to figure out who someone is if you really want to know.

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