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How Blogs Can Hurt Employment Prospects

Though Web 2.0 tools like blogs or social networking Web sites can help lawyers build relationships or better position themselves for employment opportunities, there's also a downside to creating a public digital trail. Though by now, most of us realize the danger to reputation that can arise from uploading suggestive photos or writing expletive-filled blog posts, sometimes even relatively innocuous commentary can come back to haunt us. 

Consider this example from a post by Lynne Traverse at the Am Law Daily. A recruitment manager at a large firm, Traverse reveals that firms do indeed mine the Internet for background information on job applicants, including blog posts and Web pages. Traverse describes one incident in which the firm located a blog post authored by an applicant's spouse, listing the cities where the applicant hoped to find employment. Trouble was, the location of Traverse's firm didn't make the list. Harmless error, perhaps, but it also raised suspicion that the applicant wasn't really interested in the firm, just in getting a free trip during the callback process. Finally, lest you think that the firm acted intrusively in hunting down the applicant's spouse's blog, it didn't have to. Apparently, the applicant listed it on the résumé, making it fair game.

The bottom line: Just because you're not posting the photos of yourself partying at a frat house, you're not immune from the adverse consequences of a public profile. Remember, in an Internet Age, anything you write can -- and likely will -- be held against you.

(H/T ABA Journal.)

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on October 29, 2008 at 09:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (6)

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