Is it bad to write about my difficulties finding a job in my blog,if I’m going to include the URL in Resume?

This is an excellent question. I think that if you are specifically going to include a blog URL on your resume you need to consider that blog part of your resume.

For the record, my blog is on my resume at the moment, but I’m not actively looking for a new job. I may change my mind when I am looking for a new job. Of course, any recruiter would be remiss if they didn’t google my name, and if you do so, I’m usually in the top 3 hits for “Suzanne Lucas.” (There is a Suzanne Lucas who does Rolfing, which sounds like Ralphing, which is a term we used to use for an unpleasant illness related event. I’m not her.)

So, included on the resume or not, my blog is part of my resume. Most likely, so is yours. I know most people think they can be anonymous on the internet. But you must assume that you are not. You must be willing to stand behind everything you write–even if it’s in a chat room, Facebook, or a product review at Amazon. You represent YOU.

So, do you write about your troubles job hunting? In my never to be humble opinion (when interviewers ask me what my flaw is, I can say “pride” and point to this blog as evidence), it all depends on how you do it. If you talk about general struggles related to a bad economy, fine. If you start talking about stupid &*$&! who interviewed you and didn’t realize you were the best &*$(!$#(( person for the job, then you’re in big trouble.

There is a middle ground, of course. Finding it is difficult. Keep in mind that, while unlikely, any potential employer may be reading your blog. If you write, “I have a big interview with AcmeCorp tomorrow,” your potential manager’s ears are going to perk right up.

Before you write, think “Would I say this in a job interview?” If the answer is no, then leave it off the blog. If the answer is yes, go ahead. One other thing to keep in mind is that if you detail your troubles and you write about each one of your 15 job interviews with no offers you might lower your chances of success. People can’t help but think, “Gee, 15 other companies didn’t hire him. Must be something wrong.”

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7 thoughts on “Too Much Information?

  1. This is really good advice. I think there is some conflicting advice about how to maneuver through the HRblogosphere & Tweeterville. There is encouragement that the medium should be used to express ourselves and to be genuine. But the fundamental problem with that is, at the jobsite, you are not getting paid to express yourself. And people should not expect an employer to put an individual's needs to express themselves over what the employer expects in the workplace. I think one still needs to maintain a certain amount of decorum, good taste and discretion, especially if you are including your blog on your resume.

  2. Good question and good answer. This issue is yet another example of how job searches are shifting and the rules aren't exactly written. Although you can't always predict how an employer sees things, being a smart self-regulator when it comes to blogs is a good way to keep your online image inoffensive.

  3. I've been reading your blog lately but first time commenter. To introduce myself, I'm a lawyer who is also a partner in an up & coming entertainment company. I'm the closest thing to an HR department my company has & will be handling more of those tasks as time goes on. To learn more about what I'll be doing, I read up on HR issues & what professionals have to say on them.

    As a lawyer, I can tell you that this is a VERY dicey issue. The law hasn't really addressed things like potential discrimination in hiring decisions based on online content an employer wouldn't otherwise see or firings due to online content. I hope that soon there will be lawsuits that ultimately set some parameters. After all, employers could open themselves up to bad press & ugly public trials; you don't want to be the company known as racist or anti-[fill in religious denomination of choice].

    Personally, I'd advise using a pen name, avoiding linkages to your actual identity & not naming specific people or businesses if you want to be candid; that way you can vent without anyone knowing your true identity or harming a company's business. Use privacy settings on social networks. I never lie about who I am & have managed to create a career arrangement that makes me happy + where I can be honest; I think if more people did this, we might have fewer workplace rants on Twitter. Blogs about bad lawyers/firms are legendary & this is a huge topic in that arena.

    I don't think anyone should lose their 1st Amendment rights at the behest of a corporation (say giving out passwords to profiles or friending a boss) but as a business person or in helping someone find a candidate, you'd better believe I'll do as much searching as I can on a potential intern/employee/whomever is coming into my business.

  4. Going slightly off topic, you brought up a question I've long wondered about. Everyone advises that young people keep their online personas clean and hireable. I have done that, but some of my half-dozen namesakes haven't. How does an employer googling my name know that I'm the professional, dependable one of the lot? Might he write me off because I might be one of the less savory characters?

  5. I worry about the "online namesake" thing too. I don't have a facebook account, a twitter account, or anything like that because it seems like it would be more trouble than it's worth for a high school teacher to keep it work-friendly. I worry that potential employers assume I have one and keep digging until they find one that they decide is mine (I'm in my 20s and have a lot of computer skills, I just burned out on the internet around 2003 and stopped trying every new thing).

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