Google Image Search – Here’s Mine. What’s Yours?

HR pros and recruiters repeat this message constantly:  Don’t post incriminating photos of yourself anywhere on the web.  Unless, of course, you want to be incriminated.  People giving career and job seeking advice also tell you to monitor your personal brand on the web.  That means keeping tabs on what you say, and what is said about you.  I heard this lesson repeated several times by the presenters at the recently held online conference The Career  Summit.

One of the tips made at The Career Summit is to use Google Alerts.  With Google Alerts, you can choose any topic or phrase and have “alerts” sent to you anytime that name or phrase appears in the computing cloud. Experts suggest using any name or company whose brand you want to monitor, starting with your own name.  I have my name searched once a day, and results are emailed to me.

It had been a while, though, since I did a Google image search on my name to see which pictures would be found by anyone searching my name. So, in a  fit of procrastination, I did one today.   Happily, the first page of search was my familiar head-over-my-right-shoulder avatar which appears on this blog and basically everywhere else on the web my name can be found.  Here are some of the other pictures that a “Joan Ginsberg”  Google image search yields:

A picture of me at United Meat & Deli. I think I know how this got on the Web - but it wasn't by my hand.
My friend Benjamin McCall. He posted a comment after mine on a blog. Google thinks he's me. It's a good thing he is so handsome!
The famous folk singer Joan Baez
Actress Christina Hendricks, who plays a character named Joan on the TV series Mad Men. I wish I looked like her. :-)
Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Joan Ginsburg. I jokingly call her my Auntie Ruth.

How about you?  What kind of images does a search of your name yield?  Show me or tell me in the comments below before December 23rd, 2010 and I will enter your name in a drawing for a $25 Starbucks card.

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Connecting By Phone? Use A Landline And Make An Appointment.

Laurie Ruettimann has a large following and a lot of influence and credibility in the blogging world.  So I’m glad she said it first: Don’t give up your landline phone. (Like my bedroom phone above. :-))

She said this in her presentation for the recently concluded online conference “The Career Summit“, and, in all fairness, she was talking directly to job seekers about how to land a job over the holidays.  While I am sure there were a lot of groans emitted or expletives shouted when she said this (many think landlines are duplicative and expensive),  I think she was right on.  Recruiters and hiring managers want to be able to talk to job seekers over the phone without losing the connection or listening to traffic sounds in the background.  I have been on a conference call where one of the attendees was walking on a busy city street while talking on a cell phone, huffing and puffing as well as cutting in and out.  How much value did he add to that conversation?

Which is another problem that Laurie mentioned: professional conversations need professional attention. People don’t want to talk to someone who has screaming babies or barking dogs in the background.

So, if you want to have a serious phone conversation with me, make an appointment. Really.

Why?  Because I own 4 dogs, and those 4 dogs sometimes often bark when I would prefer they didn’t.  When one barks, they all bark. Dogs, in general, have the mental acuity of a 3 year old child, which means they are most disruptive when they know I am on the phone.  Just like toddlers.  When they start barking, I absolutely cannot hear anyone speaking to me, even on my landline.

I try to make appointments to talk to everyone I seriously want to hear, if the conversation is going to last more than a minute or two.  This way I can isolate the dogs so that I won’t hear them if they start barking, and neither can my conversational partner.  If I am forced to make an appointment when I am only available by cell phone, I make sure I stay in one quiet spot where the cell service is strong and there will be no interruptions.

It takes a little planning (and maintaining a landline adds expense), but the results are well worth it.  Not just for job seekers, but for networking, conferencing, and catching up with old friends.

Send me an email – my address is all over the Web – and set up a time to have a great conversation without interruption.  I welcome it.

What do you think?   Are landlines a waste of your precious resources?  Do you hate listening to screaming children in the background of your phone call? Is making an appointment to have a serious phone conversation overkill

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WANTED: State Governor;No Exp Necessary

I have been attending an online conference called The Career Summit 2010, which is about finding, seeking, or keeping a job. In the session titled “Job Search 2.0”, Anita Bruzzeze was discussing what employers were demanding in this new market; they expect huge amounts of flexibility from the job candidate,  wanting them to perform multiple functions and across disciplines.  She commented that “you would have to be Batman to fill some of these jobs.”

As someone who has been reading job postings for over two years, that comment really hit home.  Consider this recent job post for an HR Director at a community college in metro Detroit:

So to be an HR Director at a community college you need – or someone thinks you need – to be a lawyer (“preferred”) with significant experience in collective bargaining and considerable experience in HR planning and development, and at least 5 years of HR supervisory experience with all these things – at a community college.  Don’t forget the benefits administration and ability to manage integrated software systems.

It’s particularly frustrating for job seekers to be confronted with these pie-in-the-sky requirements when CEOs of companies, such as Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Snyder,  feel that they can become state governors or senators without any specific qualifications and no elective position experience at all.  They use the term “career politicians” to mock those that have dedicated their careers to elective positions, and claim that their business savvy somehow automatically qualifies them to step into a position that requires coalition building and consensus establishment.  I would like them to submit a comprehensive statement – like the requirement in the job post above – of their experience with and approach to passing effective legislation that will solve the problems of our states and country.

What do you think? Are we asking too much of our potential employees and not enough of our elected officials?

(My thanks to Scott Bragg for inspiring this blog post.)Enhanced by Zemanta