Thursday, June 18, 2009

Career Advice Fail

I read an interesting article today on Careerealism that says you must proactively brand yourself to show up favorably in Google searches, or risk looking like...shudder...yourself. Apparently 4 out of 5 recruiters are using Google to snoop at potential candidates, and if they don't like what they see in the first few hits, you're SOL for your job search.

What about this is fair? Nothing. The article suggests that you put up a nice photo of yourself for your Facebook profile (not just one where you're sober, but avoid looking sleepy, sloppy, interesting, unique...). The article also recommends that you blog, comment, and create an online personality that would appeal to recruiters - this advice fails on many levels: a) most people don't have anything interesting to say, present company included, b) it's guaranteed that commenting on marketing blogs won't actually get you a job unless you want a job commenting on marketing blogs, and c) I think it's a sad day when the unemployed are not allowed to be as apathetic and self-centered as they want to be. And to force people to feign interest in something in their spare time, just to get a soul-crushing desk job, is cruel and unusual torture.

The article caps it all off with an anecdote about an Iraq War veteran who was profiled in an article about his experiences. This article, available online, caught the eye of a recruiter who Googled him, and propelled him tot he top of the resume stack. Soooooo...the takaway message of this anecdote is....get a newspaper to write an article about you, and then pray like hell that a recruiter sees it? I was featured in my college newspaper for barfing on the chancellor - does that count?

This kind of ridiculous advice springs from two places: 1) the current recession has spawned a vast industry of "job search gurus" who need to say stuff all day long to stay relevant, even if their advice is garbage, and 2) recruiters think they're gods ever since the economy dried up. I'd be really interested to find out how many recruiters have begun demanding bribes to advance job seekers through to companies. Do you think cupcakes and scotch would do the trick?


  1. Not to mention that more than one person could have your name. For instance, when I google my name, there are at least two other people out there with my name that are very active professionals in their field. In fact, nothing about me actually shows up for three whole google pages. Now, if you put in my name and my location, then the first page will contain relevant information, but that would take probably more search engine foresight than most people know how to do.

  2. Read all the posts carefully. What if solving the unemployment problem was up to us and just us? What if it was not about waiting for some third party to solve the problem? Instead the solution was about us banding together to help one another?

    JOBz is an empowering Reality TV series in pre-production. These are some recent interview soundbites. We ask you to help in our viral marketing campaign. It will only take a little time… Embed this video wherever worldwide and join the movement of putting the World back to work. It’s up to us… HELP US TELL THE NETWORKS. If there was an empowering reality TV show which was SUPPORTIVE, helped the unemployed with “REAL” hands on instruction about social media and its use in job search and job acquisition; learning how to promote oneself as a sought after brand; networking with people who might actually be able to hire them and much more about overcoming negative habits and attitudes in the “job lost” to “job regained” process, WOULD YOU WATCH IT? Thank you