Could Your Blog Ruin Your Shot at a Job?

You may want to consider taking your blog private, so that only select people can read it.

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Suzanne Lucas

I have blogged for a few years now. It started as a great way to stay in touch with friends and former coworkers that I had moved away from. Over the years I have had occasion to vent about my work situation. I never name names and I never name the company. I am looking to move back to where I came from but think I will be judged on having blogged about work issues. I am in HR and have never broken any confidential issues on the blog--if I mention work it is only about how I don't get along with certain co-workers. The main focus of the blog is my rather mundane life. Any thoughts? I really want to move back 'home' but am afraid my blogging may have cost me a job that I haven't even applied for.

Well, you people don't listen to me when I tell you that putting things on the Internet is just like saying them in a job interview, and now look.

[See the best careers for 2010.]

OK, I am exaggerating a bit. The world is changing and many people expect that you are blogging or Twittering or using Facebook. Fine. If your blog is mostly about your mundane life then it's doubtful that anyone who doesn't know you personally even reads it. A recruiter or hiring manager isn't going to bat an eyelash at evidence that you are computer literate.

But, if I were to Google your name, would your blog come up? If so, then it really is a job interview and you might want to think about doing some editing. (Although, let me tell you if someone really wants to find something, you can never get rid of it.)

You may want to consider taking your blog private, so that only select people can read it. If you don't, remember that everything you write is a reflection of you. I know that HR people complain about their coworkers, other employees, stupid company policies and the low quality of pizza in the company cafeteria. (Seriously, pizza is just not that difficult to make. Why is it always nasty in a cafeteria?) But we like to pretend we don't, and we don't take kindly to other HR people who don't play that game.

[See when punishment backfires.]

But, have you blown your chances? There's only one way to find out--go for it. Often times, we imagine the worst case scenario (i.e. they will find out about my blog and not hire me), and we become afraid to even try. The end result is the worst case scenario. Don't do that to yourself. Work to find a job in the area you want to live. Keep your blog on the up and up (or take it private), and don't whine too much about your coworkers.

(Well, if you really have a good story, send it to me and I'll publish it without any identifying information. Better for my blog.)

Suzanne Lucas has nine years of human resources experience, most of which have been in a Fortune 500-company setting. She holds a Professional in Human Resources certificate from the Society for Human Resource Management. She blogs at Evil HR Lady.

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