Friday, November 26, 2010

Googling yourself

Besides the adolescent urge to giggle at the subject line, have you ever Googled yourself?

I've written before about googling an ex but this is closer to home.  As I build my personal brand - another buzz-phrase related to job seeking, I decided to Google myself - not CharliePATpk of course, but my real name - to see what a potential employer would see.  People have asked me over the years why I use a pseudonym online, and here's the perfect case in point. 

My skills and abilities are what should drive whether I should be hired or not (of course, how I present myself in the interviews, etc., but that falls under ability as well).   Whether I am a Conservative or not has nothing to do with whether I can meet/exceed the job description.  I've worked for people who are more Right-wing than I am, and I have worked for a Left-winger who said, to my face, if you are a Republican you must naturally be a racist.   I can work for anyone (although in the interest of full disclosure, I did seek a transfer from that idiot right after he called me a racist.  I had worked for him for over 2 years but could not get over his blatant hatred from that point forward), and while I obviously have strong political convictions I curb the expression of them when the job is at hand.      But my hire shouldn't be judged by whether you like or hate my politics. 
So while I expected to find a number of comments I posted to blogs under my real name - none dealing with politics - I was genuinely taken back to see a post penned by first-initial,lastname praising the passage new Healthcare Reform law!   Not a comment, but an actual post, 2 pages long, from the Spring of 2010, extolling the virtues of the law, and how we'll all be better off in the future because of it.

After checking and rechecking to see if I was misreading the blogger's name, the only thing that gave me relief was determining:

  • No one had commented on the particular post
  • No one had commented on the previous post
  • There were only two posts in the entire blog
So it's safe to assume I've probably given this guy (gal? no gender identification was provided) more traffic than previously recorded in a 2 day period.  It's also good that this post appears on Google's page 3 of results, meaning it's not likely to show up in any pre-employment search.  

But it is a wake-up call for you: Google yourself.  Find out what people with similar names to you (or same call-signs) are doing.  You may be surprised!

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