“In the future, everyone will have 15 minutes of privacy”
~ (name protected).
The internet used to be a place where the youngsters ran wild, a paradise without adults (or at least adults who gave a damn). They could smoke a bong online without any fear of supervision let alone prosecution. Those days are long over, but some people—especially teenagers—don’t quite seem to realize this yet. Maybe once they start entering the job market people like • Vanessa • and KATIE AUSTIN will think twice about having the The MySpace Bong listed as one of their friends.
“Oh don’t bother adding references to your resume, we’ll just use Google”
Yes surprise, surprise, your potential future employers know how to use Google, and with all the info floating around online your cute little moniker isn’t the impenetrable mask it used to be. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately since I made the jump to blogging using my real name. If you haven’t done so already you might want to do a little google ego check by searching for your name and seeing what comes up.
All this is of course nothing really new, but a new trend has begun to shape hiring. It’s not just negative stuff your potential employer is looking for it’s positive stuff too. The Wall Street Journal had an article today entitled How Blogging Can Help You Get a New Job all about how corporate recruiters are now “also surfing blogs to unearth job candidates, expanding their talent pool and gaining insights they say they can’t get from resumes and interviews.”
Sure you might have gone and taken that photo of you smoking a rock off of your MySpace page, but how do you stack up to your competitor who has maintained a semi-professional blog for the past couple years? “Blogs also help employers probe the qualifications of potential hires, says Wal-Mart’s Mr. Loken. ‘If they have a blog or made a comment on one, you can see what their knowledge level truly is because resumes can be full of fluff.‘” (WSJ).
A new search paradigm becomes a new market
Personally, I hope Zoominfo quickly goes down in flames because it’s business model is particularly repulsive. They spider the net for info and build a profile for you automatically, and they don’t check any of the info, so it’s often full of errors. I checked and a google search for my name got better info then their search did.
The worse part of it is the that if you want to change their info about you have to pay and become a member! (ON EDIT: ZoomInfo does not charge you for editing you’re own info, but you are forced to register) Karen Blakeman, of Karen Blakeman’s Blog—who obviously believes in blogging under your real name—wrote that she couldn’t “find any redeeming features that would persuade [her] to pay money for [ZoomInfo] or to even use the free search.” (Read the rest of her article)
Shaping your online identity
Sooner or later, someone will come along and do it one better than ZoomInfo. In the meantime there is Google and really your best defense is a good offense—start shaping your online identity now. If you are invisible online and you feel that have nothing to talk about, it might be a good idea to put a few innocent vacation pictures of you online or something. There is no reason your online presence has to be completely professional. Personal antidotes such as where you went for vacations, your pets, and where you grew up, can help form connections which might be beneficial too.