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Employers waiting to meet potential employees can read up about the candidates prior to their first interview by accessing blogs to which these people have contributed. Topics that seem inappropriate or get hidden during an interview pop up easily in the blogosphere. Whether the blog is career related or not, it can tell a lot about the person: Is she well rounded?  Does he have good writing skills?From job candidates’ point of view, though it may feel something like stalking, blogging might the best way to control their identity. If an employer is going to Google you, why not create searchable content? Furthermore, bloggers receive constant exposure; even if they are not looking for a job, they may find employers become interested in them because of their online activities—or at least that they gain valuable networking opportunities.

When not carefully managed however, blogging can reflect quite badly on a job candidate. Employers have turned down candidates who appear to lack promise because of the contents of their blogs. For example, one job candidate spoke poorly of another employee of the company and made various comments about “getting drunk.” To the employer, this content indicated “a character problem” and therefore a reason not to hire the candidate for the position.

Even when companies successfully recruit employees from their blogging, it becomes a double-edged sword, because employees that continue to blog remain available and accessible to other employers. Employees thus achieve a wealth of options because they continue to receive more job offers, which in turn may make the employee even more valuable because he or she clearly is desirable to other companies.

Discussion Questions:

1. How do blogs benefit employers?

2. How do blogs benefit potential employees?

Sarah Needleman, “How Blogging Can Help You Get a New Job,” The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2007.