Google Me: Is Blogging About HIV Keeping Me From Getting a Job?

To fill a job these days, rumor has it that companies "Google" the name on the resumes they receive before even calling the resume sender. They can check your social media accounts and check up on who you are before even calling you back for an interview. For most HIV-positive people this is not a big deal; however, if this is the case there are more than three pages of links about HIV when my name is Googled.

Yes most of those pages are because of this blog, but that does not mean I'm going to stop anytime soon. It makes me want to blog more!

I have worked in customer service and administrative jobs. I was even a graphic designer and a copy editor for the Yellow Pages in San Diego for a few years. I think I can write -- yet I have had less than five replies to well over 100 resumes sent out in the Ft. Worth, Texas area.

This is the only reason I can think of. I have been applying for jobs that I'm overqualified for, and would have taken a huge pay cut to get back to work. To add to my frustration on this topic, this text below is popping up on maybe 1/3 of the applications I am filling out online:

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Form CC-305
OMB Control Number 1250-0005
Expires 1/31/2017

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

Because we do business with the government, we must reach out to, hire, and provide equal opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. To help us measure how well we are doing, we are asking you to tell us if you have a disability or if you ever had a disability. Completing this form is voluntary, but we hope that you will choose to fill it out. If you are applying for a job, any answer you give will be kept private and will not be used against you in any way.

If you already work for us, your answer will not be used against you in any way. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we are required to ask all of our employees to update their information every five years. You may voluntarily self-identify as having a disability on this form without fear of any punishment because you did not identify as having a disability earlier.

How do I know if I have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Blindness
  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Deafness
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Major depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair
  • Diabetes
  • Schizophrenia
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation)
  • Epilepsy
  • Muscular dystrophy

Please check one of the boxes below:

▢ YES, I HAVE A DISABILITY (or previously had a disability)

First, I'm not understanding how HIV is a disability that causes a person not to do a job, unless you are SICK. I have headaches almost daily but I can take aspirin; I have night sweats, which also has no impact on my ability to work a normal job.

So, if I check "NO" (or "No Answer"), all the employee seeker has to do is go back and Google me, and hello I have just LIED on my application. I assume that sends me into the "NO" pile. If I check "NO" and they don't Google me, does my resume also end up in that "NO" pile? Is this legal?

Do any places NOT care about my status enough to offer me a job? I guess we shall see. I cannot prove that this issue is why I'm not getting phone calls on my resumes; maybe I am paranoid.