“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
I tell my kids this all the time–the more you read, the smarter you’ll be, the places you’ll go, the people you’ll see. OK, so that’s my own little Dr. Seuss version of getting them interested in reading. Books and other reading material feed your intellect and affect the way you look at life. One recent buzz around Facebook was the challenge to list the ten books that have changed the way you look at life, right off the top of your head. Not classic books, or intellectual books, just the books you read that somehow lingered in your life. I made my list and it was super hard to keep it at ten. Librarians will tell you that people going through a crisis will often ask for books about someone going through a crisis because it helps to see how others cope with challenges.
In your career, reading a wide range of topics will give you a wide range of perspective on the way people think and strategies you can use for your advancement. It’s like a balanced diet. You need stuff from every food group in order to be healthy and you need to read both fiction and non-fiction to have a healthy view of the world. There is a difference in quality when it comes to what you read. Just as there is a difference in quality of food; you will start to see that difference as your reading variety changes.
Reading anything regularly increases your ability to comprehend and articulate ideas. If what you read is well-written, it helps you develop a sense of spelling and grammar, which gives you a professional edge in your communication.
If you’re unemployed, I’d say it’s a good idea to read something work/career related every day. This is easy to do by subscribing to a few blogs, but working through a book is important. Blogs and websites like those on the Job Resources Page are carefully concentrated chunks of information like an energy bar; a book is like a banquet that has been planned and prepared by a chef.
Dr. Seuss is right: the more you learn, the more places you’ll go. Your career will be enhanced by reading regularly.
With all the new technology available on the Internet today, there is absolutely no reason anyone should simply stop once a resume has been completed and sent. There is a wide world of other venues just waiting for you to use them to market your personal brand. Blogging is only part of it.
Some may think blogging and job searches are two different things. They are, but they aren’t. There has never been a better time to be able to talk to people, to get the word out about you and your skills than blogging.
Build a blog site that highlights your job skills and your previous jobs. Talk about something every day. Add links to your resume and use the social networks to retweet or repost your site.
There are numerous job boards for you to use to post your resume, whether it’s an executive resume, professional or entry level. And there are people who will retweet your blog post so others can see it. Before long, you have reached thousands of people. Before, you would have sent it to only a few. So, what’s smarter?
Twitter has a very easy way to help individuals with their blog posts and to be able to integrate both together. Facebook does as well, and LinkedIn too.
Now, you can increase your visibility and get more options available to you during your job search. Take a chance and see how much fun it is and how much it will help at the same time.
Before you send your next resume out, give blogging and social media sites a try. You just may have more opportunities than you originally thought.
By now, most people know that everything they say online might as well be said on national television. Of course some, like the none too bright thieves who post their spoils on MySpace are never going to learn, but the vast majority of us have started to protect our online identities. Unfortunately, sometimes dirt from our past still haunts the internet, and some of it, like things posted by exes or old friends may be out of our control. You can’t delete a drunken picture on someone else’s profile, after all.
So how can you clean up your digital dirt? Well, for starters, you need to know what dirt is out there. There are a lot of services that will do the legwork for you here. Places like Reputation Defender will search all the sites that mention you, and their team can work on getting any bad references cleaned up, or at the very least, moved down in the search engines. Claim ID will also protect online profiles you do wish to use, and will back them up in case you need them later.
A quick Google search of your name and nicknames will help you find much of this for free, however. While it may miss items in the Deep Web (pages that Google cannot access because users must be logged in to see them), this search will show you anything an employer is likely to see. Be sure to do an image search for your name as well. Once you’ve located any references to yourself that aren’t wholly professional, you can begin to weed them out. Here are some basic places to begin:
Blogs: If someone references you in their blog unfavorably, it’s always a good idea to speak to that person, and politely ask them to remove the reference. If they refuse, contact the service they are blogging through, and petition for them to intervene. If the other person is not blogging through a third party, then you have limited options, aside from working hard to make sure the good references appear first. On your own blog, make sure that all posts with questionable content can only be viewed by those who you have allowed to read them.
Social Networking Sites: If someone has tagged you on an image in Facebook, it’s possible for you to remove that tag yourself. Make sure that no tagged images of you looking unprofessional are floating around on the web. We’ve all heard the story about the person who called in sick to work and then posted their ‘partying’ pictures on MySpace–only to get caught and fired. Or worse, telling your Facebook pals that your ‘job is boring‘ as one girl did. On other sites (Twitter for example), you may not have the option to remove your name from something. Always speak to the person with the image, and make sure that your name is not attached to the image. On your own profiles, you can and should delete any bad images, and lock any negative language behind a block that allows only people in your network to view it. Never allow employers or coworkers onto your network.
Websites: If you have left any comments on a website, and listed your full name, it may be possible to contact the owner of the site and ask for permission to change the name on the comment, or remove your surname. In the future, do not make any comments on websites, blogs, or forums with your full name. In fact, never use your full name online unless it is in a business capacity.
These tricks will help you get your online reputation back on track and secure an interview without raising any eyebrows.