Behave Yourselves and Establish a Good Internet Presence

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Marc Quibell

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I liked this recent article on Forbes so much, I thought I should share. If you haven't seen this yet, it's an article about things you should do and not do on LinkedIn, and on the Internet in general.

Even though I'm an IT guy, I'm not really much into writing articles about how to do... things that are IT-related.

I figure the folks here already know how to do their job for the most part, and if not, well that's what the forums are for - technical discussion. And I hesitate to presume to be some kind of expert in anything; maybe just well-versed. But what I can offer that I think would be useful are my experiences.

In this article, the author gives several insightful, excellent tips about improving your LinkedIn profile. I subscribe to every one of those tips, and have been doing so ever since I first created my account @ LinkedIn years ago.

One of the first things the author talks about is her experience at an interview where the hiring manager Googled her name. Let me say that first, the manager probably should have done this before the interview, but maybe he was pressed for time.

The point though is that what she said was true: hiring managers will look you up online, and your 'Internet Presence' will be scrutinized, and even more so because these are most likely technical people and know where to look.

I really LOL'd at some of the 'don'ts' the author pointed out. I once knew a co-worker who did one of those 'don'ts' - one day he had nothing on his LinkedIn profile, the next day he had managed to get 10 recommendations from his last job... like the author said... slimy... she described him perfectly.

Look folks, you're not fooling anyone!

Not too long ago, I had an interview where the interviewer had done lots of homework prior to my arrival. He searched my name and found things I wrote all the way back to the 90's. Ahhh, the fond memories I have of the Novell, Microsoft and the Cabletron discussion groups

But I could be particularly doomed on two points: First, I have a rare name, and second, I've been online and in newsgroups since before the actual Internet. I have a very long history, and if you're like me, it could either be a curse or a blessing. For me, it's a blessing, because I've managed to behave all these years.

They way I look at it, it's more than a blessing - it's an added bonus that I have a history, a reputation, on the Internet that can also be used to compliment, if not verify my resume in many cases.

Here's my point - I urge you to make a decision today about what kind of 'Internet Presence' you want to establish. The lesson learned here is also that you can go anonymous and feel safe not being tracked, but you lose as well because there is not a historical presence for you on the 'net - you have no online reputation!

And what does that mean? It means you lack a viable, irrefutable history on the 'net, which could have been very useful for marketing yourself.

So if I could offer any advice to you it would be to start a good 'Internet Presence' today if you haven't already, build upon your new reputation, participate in discussions (technical and anything else you're interested in) and be sure that you also behave yourself. It's time to grow up and stop being that anonymous troll.

Just don't over-do-it and get full of yourself, you're not fooling anyone.

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