I used to think I was the clever one who invented the practice of Googling candidates to see if I could learn anything interesting, but it appears the practice is more widespread than I thought. Apparently recruiters and hiring managers are doing Internet research on a regular basis now to find out personal information about candidates.
Think what you do in your personal time is not your company's business? Maybe, maybe not - the finer points of that one are debatable. Regardless, depending on how your private activities are depicted on the Internet, your personal life WILL affect your chances of landing a job. When I have a candidate that looks good on paper and passes the phone interview with flying colors, my next step is Google. If discover via the Internet that he was on the planning committee for a local charity event, placed in the top 100 in the Oktoberfest 5k run, and coached the 4th grade Fighting Tigers to a 2nd place finish in the local league, I have a picture of a pretty well-rounded person who is making a contribution with his life. That's the kind of person I want on my team.
On the other hand, if I find out - as I did recently - that a candidate seems to spend a lot of time posting snarky comments on various blogs and websites (in all lowercase letters without punctuation - another pet peeve!) I am probably going to move on to someone who has a more positive and uplifting image. The workplace is challenging enough without bringing in one more sarcastic know-it-all.
So, what does the Internet say about you?