How The Web Sees You

On Marketplace yesterday, there was a great piece on how a lot of job-seekers are using social networks to help them find new job. They focused on strategies that make it easy for potential employers to find you based on relationships, and how efficient that can be. Searching for a job has always been about who you know, and who those people know. Hiring managers don't want to go through the tedious and expensive work of finding new talent using head-hunters or classified ads. They want to call someone that they already know, or have a friend recommend someone. Social networks make it easier to keep up with the people you know and connect with their friends, making them a great job-finding tool. Social networking sites aren't the only online tools that can help you with your job search. Blogs and mailing lists are also a great way to reach out to people with similar interests, even if you never meet them in person. For example, there are a few technical blogs that I follow that are well-written, informative, and indicative of an author with good problem-solving skills. If I was looking to hire someone who had that author's particular skills, then I'm likely to put that blog's author on my short list. I feel the same way about mailing lists. It's difficult to understate the importance of good problem-solving and communication skills in the world of IT, and they're difficult to properly gauge in an interview. If I see someone on a mailing list display these skills along with strong technical skills, then putting them on my short-list is a given. So it's obvious that I value good social networks in other people. The problem is that I haven't been cultivating my networks as well as I should be. Here's some of my issues: - I have two different blogs. It's a long story as to why that's the case, but it doesn't do much to help anyone find or learn about me. - My Facebook page isn't linked to my blog or my linkedin page, and vice-(vice?)-versa. Someone who knows me based on Facebook wouldn't know anything about my technical skills, and someone who wanted to communicate with me via Facebook wouldn't be able to do so if he or she only knew about my blog. - My Linkedin page is out-of-date. Even though I'm not looking for a new job right now (thank goodness), having an up-to-date profile can help both myself and my friends. - My blog is pretty empty, which is especially embarrassing when you consider that I've been writing blog articles in one way or another for almost 6 years. The old articles are either lost, or in a format that is difficult to convert into something Wordpress can use. Also, I have a lot more stuff that I could be writing about. And some of it might actually be worth reading by one or two people :)

So what can I do? Here are some actions that I think will help: - Move everything to a single blog, and have that be a single, publicly-accessible place for friends and professional resources to find me. - Link all of my sites together, and make the associations very obvious. - Make a habit of updating my Linked profile 3 or 4 times a year. - Move my good articles from my old blogs to my new one. I'd love to write more articles, but I don't think I'll make that a goal. Obnoxious, forced articles are definitely worse than none at all.

It's a lot to do, which is probably why it isn't already done, but I think it will pay off.

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