IT Employment

Smile, you're on Google


Just completed a major project successfully and felt it's time to move on? Updated your resume and already linked up with a headhunter from that top recruitment agency in town? Before you click "Send" to forward your resume to the headhunter, there's one more thing left to do.

Do a Google - on yourself.

If it sounds bizarre to you, this was exactly what one vice president of HR of multi-billion dollar company Hathaway Jones did.

The company was on the verge of hiring Mimi Brewster to head up the company's flagship store in Shanghai, when Google picked up her name in a November 1999 issue of the Alternative Review. A report identified Mimi, fresh out of Berkeley, as the leader of a nonviolent but vocal protest group that had helped mobilize campaigns against the World Trade Organization.

According to the Harvard Business Review Interactive Case Study:

"... It was soon clear that Mimi's involvement had been more than just a student's expression of defiance. One newspaper story featured a photo of Mimi sitting outside China's San Francisco consulate protesting China's treatment of a dissident journalist."

Virginia (vice president of HR) presents Fred (who was considering hiring Mimi) with the Mimi dossier and urges caution.

You can read about the case study in We Googled You. In fact, "Googling" prior to a hire is a topic that has been covered by TechRepublic previously in Do you google job candidates and Are you prepared to be googled?

However, the result of the above case nonewithstanding, I would like to approach this issue from a slightly different angle. Here goes.

As IT professionals, it is inevitable that we do a fair amount of research as well as regular reading online to help us in our chosen profession. There are times when we need to post questions or respond/comment on certain articles online. Now, unless you chose to post anonymously all the time, a "profile" of you will start to get built up over a period of time.

So the poser here is: Do you actively ensure that you maintain a good "reputation" online?

Now, while I can say that the readers of TechRepublic are the most mature and rational people around, that is unfortunately not the case on most bulletin boards or blogs around the Internet. Any tips, comments, or advice for the rest of them? Join the discussion.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

9 comments
paulmah
paulmah

Now, while I can say that the readers of TechRepublic are the most mature and rationale people around - that is unfortunately not the case on most bulletin boards or blogs around the Internet. Any tips, comments or advice for the rest of "them"?

HAZELBLUEBUILDER
HAZELBLUEBUILDER

I am looking for CRM Project manager (25-65) people) for Cable/Telephony/Order Processing. Full project life cycle in LI NY Outstanding pay

wmlundine
wmlundine

I Googled an IT manager who wanted to hire me and found quite a lot. Like the woman in the story, I too am pretty active politically and have been for quite a while. I feel compelled to speak out and will never be ashamed of it or even regret lost opportunities. Money (even my own) is not my highest priority.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...I was visiting with 20-year-old associates of my sister talking about grad school and career options, and I mentioned "googling" their names, as their future employers are certain to do. Boy did their eyes get big! It's hard to explain the future implications of current acts and behaviors to teenagers who are prone to do stupid things, and have trouble thinking about their lives beyond next weekend, much less beyond the next decade.

mg_roberts
mg_roberts

fortunately, my name is so common, and i've kept a low enough profile, that a google search for my name will yield no results actually pertaining to myself. my common alias will only point to technical forums. i think i'm safe. although, i really can't think of anything about myself that would be online that i wouldn't openly share.

Steffi28
Steffi28

As I said in one of the previous discussions, you cant always trust google. I google my name, and what do I get... well a Stephanie who lives in Liverpool, as do I in fact we both live in the same area of Liverpool, worked in a certain shopping centre for a few years, the same place I had my first job. Now for the differences, shes about 10 years older than me, was a page 3 model for a short while oh and she murdered her boyfriend!! That can either play to my advantage or disadvantage. While I doubt we will ever be mixed up because with most of her stories there are pictures so its obvious its not me, could it be possible someone could skim google and think I was once in prison?? The advantage, her story will always be higher profile on google than anything under my name, so in an abundance of her name it may be difficult to find anything related to me good or bad. Edited to add, oh and apparently theres a "Drag Star Extrodinare" in Las Vegas with my name too :)

Chaz Chance#
Chaz Chance#

Apparently there is a web site dedicated to my writings, because I was a famous scientist and philosopher. Unfortunately, I died in more than 90 years ago. I was also a "Female Impressionist". Also dead. Actually, I knew about that, and I have The Times full page obituary. I liked this guy because he said that he couldn't do impressions of modern celebrity females because they don't have personality's, the way the stars of yesteryear do. He also pointed out the difference between a "Female Impressionist" and a "Drag Artist". I am also an ordained minister (not sure which religion), been published in Esquire magazine, had an article published full of political rhetoric, and there is also a reference to me on a web site that the company censor ("...under company administrative policy this site is banned...") won't let me see.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

Oh My! What a deception! :0 You have obviously tricked us all with your hypnotic ways! Trying o make us believe hat you are 21, but your age has come into question several times in he past. :0 Changing your hair color must have been to avoid capture! And taking lessons from Mae the whole time! :0 And what have you been doing in Vegas my I ask??? I dont remember that peer mail inviting me! X-( Of course you were just hiding out for a while acting right?

JamesRL
JamesRL

The husband of one of my wife's friends was curious about me, having heard the stories. So he googled me and discovered that someone with the same name wrote an interesting book on database architecture. He wanted to talk to me, but my wife had to dissapoint him and tell him though I was in IT, and pretty smart, the only thing I have published was some IT magazine articles, and no books. Wonder if I can divert some of the royalty checks. James

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