Blogging and Employment are not Mutually Exclusive

December 5, 2005

DEAR SCOTT: Please warn your readers that their Web pages and blogs could stand in the way of securing a job! Just as employers have learned to read e-mail and blogs, they have learned to screen candidates through their sites.

Many people in their 20s and 30s wrongly believe their creations are entertaining and informative. Employers are not seeking political activists, evangelizers, whiners or tattletales. They do not want to find themselves facing a lawsuit or on the front page of a newspaper because a client, patient or parent of a student discovered a comment written by an employee.

The job market is tight, and job seekers must remember their computer skills can either help them land a position or destroy a job prospect. — CHICAGO EMPLOYER

DEAR EMPLOYER: Many companies wrongly believe blogging to be nothing more than a potential Human Resource problem. Rather than seeking ways to utilize the phenomenon to further the interests of their company, they are using blog authorship as a way to shoot themselves in the foot while unfairly discriminating against potentially terrific employees. It’s one thing if a candidate shows him or herself to be irresponsible, but quite another to blanket circular-file their resumes just based on blog authorship alone. So wise up. Hire a responsible blogger for your engineering or marketing department or wherever. Ask them what benefit blogs and other web-based conversations can be to your company. Then listen. If you don’t, your competitors will. It’s up to you.

Incidentally, people with blogs expect that other people read them. And I hope that is what you really do: read them, and not just assume that the author is irresponsible toward his or her employer. Do you intend to avoid anyone who blogs because of what they might choose to say about you or your company after you hire them? If so, what about everyone else? Even people without blogs today could get them tomorrow. In the internet age anyone can potentially say nasty things about you and your company: customers, employees, business partners… It’s very hard to hide these days. But surely there must be a more level-headed way of handling this than ratcheting up a general mistrust of simply everyone everywhere. Perhaps rather than hiding from this online conversation thing you might, you know, engage in it. Just a thought.

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  1. This is why I never list my website on my resume and I don’t use an e-mail on it connected to my domain.

    Also… Did you see about the dental school kid suspended by MU for blogging?


  2. Adam, I think you can safely assume that anyone you give your resume to is googling your name. Especially if you work in a techy kind of industry. And yes I heard about the blogger. I’m refraining from public comment on the issue for what I hope are obvious reasons.

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