First, thanks to everyone who commented on my denied a job interview post, especially those of you whom I didn’t previously know. I enjoyed reading all your opinions. Thanks to those who said here and on facebook that you would hire me. Now I just need one of you to actually be able to do that. 😉

To those who said I’m probably better off not working there: I happen to know this is a good place to work and really values a work-life balance. And I don’t think they were put off by me being a mother. However, the person I suspect being behind this (not the HR person, as Nik mentioned) is likely not someone I would want to work with. So yes, maybe this was a blessing in disguise. Actually, I think it may have given me the last push I need to pursue something that has been rambling around my head for a while. I’m not ready to talk about it here though.

But this is an issue bigger than me. Questions for jobseekers to consider:

  • Is it fair for a company to use your online persona against you?
  • Is the fairness of it irrelevant because we deal in reality not in an ideal world?
  • In this job market, should jobseekers sanitize their online presence or go underground for awhile? Or should we stay true to who we are with the knowledge that it might disqualify us for some jobs but perhaps make us more attractive to companies where the decision-makers “get it”?

I DO think it is fair for companies to take online personas into consideration when hiring BUT they should thoroughly investigate and understand that persona, not make a judgment after looking at a blog homepage for five minutes. They should also understand, as Missy said, that “online depictions of our personalities are often self-effacing” or focus on just one facet of our personalities.

And even if I thought this was an unfair practice, the fact is that it happens. It was interesting to see the HR/Recruiter types say this didn’t surprise them one bit, even though they think it’s wrong. I wonder now if I lost out on other opportunities because of my blog but this was the first time someone had the courtesy to tell me the truth. (Or tell me anything at all, but that’s a whole other issue.)

So knowing that this is the reality in this job market, will I make my blog private? No.

Will I change the name? Maybe, especially since it doesn’t match the content of my blog as closely as I had thought it would in the beginning.

Will I pretend to be something I’m not and avoid mention of anything that paints me as less than perfect? No way. I am human, not a robot. And I don’t want to work for anyone who does not understand that.

So other jobseekers, what are your thoughts? How do you handle your online presence while jobseeking?