There’s a now-infamous story (which means it’s veracity is questionable) about a soon-to-be law school grad who had a sweet offer from a prestigious law firm. The week before he was due to start his glorious new career suing people, his offer was pulled. Why? Not because he’d mishandled the interview, and not because the firm had found a typo on his application. Nope – what sunk him was his Facebook profile, where he (let’s assume in jest) described how he liked to spend the weekends “smoking blunts with the homies and busting caps in whitey”. Not good.
Having an active digital presence can be a very good thing, if you’re smart about it. Build up your blog life, but make sure it’s the type of content you’d want a prospective employer to see. Better yet, make it the type of blog that gets you an offer – we’ve done that twice in the past 12 months. Russ Glass, our VP of Product & Marketing, talks about one of those situations in a recent Wall Street Journal piece – click here to read it. While you’re at it, check out the story about the applicant we passed on, and why.
How do you blog about your current occupation if you hate it? Don’t. The trick is to become a subject matter expert on something you find inherently interesting – something that you don’t see as a chore to research, because learning about it is so damned interested in & of itself. Take what you’re discovering, add in your commentary, and post that gold to your blog. Soon enough, your blog/ name will start showing up in search engines when sneaky recruiters like me are looking to hire someone who knows something about your particular topic – trust me, we’ll find you, and if we like what your saying it’ll get you a lot farther than your typical resume ever can.
Ego surfing shouldn’t be something to be embarrassed about. You need to learn to Google, Yahoo, etc yourself on a regular basis – that, or get all whiz-bang and set up an automated feed that shoots you an update whenever you’re mentioned on-line. Our PR Queen (Kari Hansen) swears by Bloglines, and I’ve found it pretty nifty myself. Find something on-line you don’t like? You can contact the originating site, and request they pull it. I’d also recommend searcing for yourself on ZoomInfo, – if you find information there you aren’t proud of, we’ll have a link to the source document where we found it. Follow the link, and get it taken down.