Recently, a colleague of mine has started a weblog. She emailed me to ask:
Do you think potential employers would react positively when they read my rants about **insert subject here**? Obviously, if I knew the industry I’d like to target, I would tend to write about issues affecting that particular
business, but what if I wanted to be a generalist, how would I approach this
An interesting question, so I thought I’d share my answer:
Your question regarding potential employer’s reactions is as old as the Internet. Everybody Googles potential employees–who wouldn’t? I have the benefit of experience and independence, but my view has always been this: If an employer rejects me based on something they read about me online, then I probably didn’t want to work for them anyway. That may sound a little cavalier, but, on the other hand, I don’t post many highly-controversial opinions.
For example, if you Google me in the near-term, you’re probably going to read about Flowers for Al and Don, this strange flower-buying campaign that I’m running at the moment. A potential employer might conclude from that that I’m queer as a three dollar bill. If they did, and didn’t hire me as a result, then fair enough (well, not really, but that’s not the point here). Even though I’m straight, I probably don’t want to work for somebody who makes judgments like that.
If you’re going to view your blog as more than just a professional portfolio (and you seem to be so far), I wouldn’t worry about what you write about. Write about what you want. You may want to include professional commentary–I do occasionally–but it doesn’t have to be at the centre of what you write about.