Hire me or fire me: what does your web profile say?

Two related pieces on hiring and firing employees based on what is said about them on the web:

CNet reports, under Fired federal worker sues over googling, that a government worker claimed a department official violated his “right to fundamental fairness” by using Google to research his prior work history in a dispute over the use of government property. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled unanimously that no harm was done by using the search engine, the judges appearing to say that the internet should be considered as any other research source. (Hat tip: John Battelle)

Michael D Mann writes in a lengthy article on Law.com, Some Job Hunters Are What They Post, that law firm hiring committees would be foolish to ignore the “treasure trove of information” the internet offers in recruiting trainees. However, postings not by the student should be given less weight than those that the student has clearly put up on their own – in particular MySpace profiles and the like.

But students can – as can we all – use their web presence positively to market themselves, and firms should focus on looking for the positives rather than the negatives:

Perhaps, when searching the internet, firms should look for people who can market themselves well and present an appealing image, or who can post on a blawg cogent and original thoughts on a recent court decision, rather than launch a witch hunt for pictures taken at a fraternity party.

(Hat tip: Slaw)