A little while ago I posted a blog on Recruitingblogs.com about hobbies and whether or not they should be on your CV (I re-posted it here; it's the very first post on this blog). There was some discussion that followed, with, generally, a good-natured back and forth. I thought some people made some good counterpoints, and I was certainly willing to re-visit my opinion.
One guy, though, decided that a respectful debate between colleagues (it is a recruiting site, after all) just wasn't for him. Here's a segment of his post:
Believe it or not but I have experienced a couple of occasions where listed hobbies triggered a conversation (that’s something people will have when they show an interest in each other)...
It may not read the same out of context, but it was quite the snarky riposte. (I know what you're thinking - shocking that poor manners were shown on the interweb.)
I'm not posting this to try to start a battle, since (a) I have no interest in one, and (b) I doubt he reads this site - if I were to respond, I would have done so in the comments of the original post.
No, I'm trying to point out what bad form this was - not in some grand vision of manners and polity, but at an individual level. A group of colleagues were discussing a topic quite professionally, despite disagreements. This is what grown ups do. This is what we all should do in the workplace.
Recruiters live by networking. That's how we do our job. Why on earth would a recruiter want to poison a relationship with a potential colleague in order to get off a here's-what-the-meaning-of-the-word-conversation-is jab? It's silly, and it reflects poorly on him.
So what's the point? The point is you're always, potentially, networking. You're always, potentially, branding yourself.
(I should note that I am willing to admit that the original post of mine was perhaps a little snarky - it was a rant after all, however I think a fair reading of it would determine that the joking manner in which I described things was more frivolous than attacking. Further, it certainly couldn't be considered personal, as I used no derogatory examples from actual resumes.)