Is your life correctly summarized by a search engine? Does a blog accurately convey your inner self? Would you want a potential employer to make a hiring decision based on a what the internet has to say about your name?

Dooce offers the very wise advice about blogging about work…don’t do it. And, not a day goes by where we don’t hear about the use of the internet for identity theft. Implied in both of those examples is that there are repercussions for not being careful. But, what if what you post/blog isn’t work-related? What if what you post is your original thought, and not a case of mistaken identity? What if you have a strong opinion about something political, for example?

I saw a graphic recently in a magazine that said something like 80% of companies are doing background checks on potential employees. I think we all expect that to mean that people are being checked for criminal records or deadbeat dad status. BUT, I am concerned that it actually means that some HR jamoke is putting a name into google/yahoo and seeing what pops up. AND, I’m even more concerned that someone could be immediately disqualified from consideration for a position simply because he/she posted something that the HR jamoke didn’t like.

For example, consider simply that the person making the interview or hiring decision was a Democrat. And consider hypothetically that applicant “A” posted in a blog that he/she was pleased about the recent Supreme Court nomination/confirmation. Does “A” get an interview? I doubt it. Does the opinion posted by “A” have any bearing on the requirements of the position or the ability of said person to perform those requirements? The answer is NO for about 999,999 out of 1,000,000 times.

I predict that with the continued expansion of blogging, this will become a major issue. The idealist in all of us that embrace the internet hopefully won’t be snuffed by those that would use it for an advantage.

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