My friend Ted Demopoulos pinged me recently to let me know about his new ebook, Effective Internet Presence. It’s a free (CC-licensed) PDF download, and worth a read. It’s short (less than 40 pages), highly readable, and contains some really useful ideas.
Without stealing Ted’s thunder – I really do encourage you to take a look at the full book – there were a number of snippets that resonated or made me think. Ted starts out by noting that:
A senior hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company trained all his people how to look up potential employees online last year, going well beyond a simple search engine lookup. The results affect who gets hired and who doesn’t.
People google you all the time. They google you before they meet with you, they google you if they may be working with you, they google you if you’re dating their sister.
These are excellent points. Ted isn’t (just) saying that it is important have a blog, for example – but he made me consider my personal brand across my entire online presence (something that people like Hugh MacLeod also lead me to think about about). Am I consistent? Do I have profiles in the right places? Can people find out who I am?
[ aside: I had a call from a recruiter the other day who had an opportunity for someone with WebSphere skills, and asked me “can you do that?”. I should have just said “go look at andypiper.co.uk” or “google me”. I’ll try to remember to do that next time! ]
If you are thinking about starting a blog or otherwise building an online presence – for example in a social network like Facebook or LinkedIn – Ted suggests avoiding contentious subjects like religion and politics… which is probably a fair point, unless of course you are trying to make a name for yourself as a commentator on one of these topics! Talking of social networks, he covers both of those I’ve just mentioned, noting that he “expect[s] Facebook to become much more search engine friendly, but it doesn’t compare to LinkedIn today for developing a quick Effective Internet Presence”. I’m not so sure that I share his view on Facebook here, I’m not certain that it will open up quite that much; but overall the important point is that “… Facebook is a great networking tool if for nothing else because everyone seems to be on it.”. Absolutely – the same reason I use Twitter rather than Jaiku, and Flickr rather than Picasa, for example.