Tracking Your Reputation Online

September 20, 2011

The New York Post did a very interesting article last spring entitled “How to Protect Your Online Rep.”  Chris Erickson, the author, pointed out that just checking your name in Google and cleaning up your Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking accounts aren’t enough anymore.  Employers are looking deeper and farther.  Through the wonders of social networking (Web 2.0 to us), employers are able to check out the friends you keep, the forums and groups you like or take part in, virtually anything you list or choices you make while networking online.  It’s a scary world folks.

So what can you do about it?  According to Erikson, use (but don’t trust) privacy settings.  They are, at best, a stop gap,  not a fail safe.  Make sure you check out you name, email address, blog names, etc. in Google, Bing, Yahoo, and places like Zoominfo. You may be surprised at some of the places you find your information.  And for pity sake, don’t assume that once you’ve had a job interview, you’re home free.  If you tweet what a dumb idiot one of your interviewers was, that person will find out about it, trust me.  Even on the off chance he or she is not into social networking, their friends will be.  Be discreet.  You might not like that word, but when you are hunting for or trying to keep a new (or old) job, discretion is your friend.

It’s worth taking a look at the original New York Post article. Just click “How to Protect Your Online Rep” by Chris Erickson.

I also tracked down several books on the subject that the Newton Free Library now owns. These are:

Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online by Andy Beal and Judy Strauss (mentioned in Erickson’s original article).

Wild West: How to Protect and Restore Your Online Reputation on the Untamed Social Frontier by Michael Fertik and David Thompson.

Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building or Repairing Your Online Reputation by Herbert Tabin and Craig Agranoff.  If you haven’t got a clue how to do any of this, start with this book.  Some of the reviews in Amazon complained that this work was too basic.  Sounds good to me.

Manage Your Online Reputation by Tony Wilson.

Good luck.

“Let’s be careful out there.”  Stay safe online and don’t do anything foolish.  You don’t need to have the added stress of identity theft piled on top of looking for a job.  And you will be tempted.  Don’t forget, there is always someone ready to pounce when you make an exception  – just this one time.

vea/20 September 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide


Newton’s Job Search Class Now Open to Anyone, Anywhere (Plus a Few Extras)

June 9, 2011

The Process:  Over the winter I have been updating, refining, and adding to everything related to the library’s “Applying for a Jobs Online” class. Just as this was completed, Newton purchased a new software package called LibGuides.  Since it takes time to learn to use it, our Assistant Head of Reference, John Walsh, took the material that had been created for the class and created a design for it. Once everything had been put together, I went through the Guide again, updating and tweeking it, learning how to use the program at the same time.

The Result:  If you have Microsoft PowerPoint and Word on your computer, you now have direct access to the library’s class materials no matter where you are located.  If you don’t have these programs, you can still access a wealth of information  in the LibGuide by clicking on the tabs at the top of the Guide.  Under the first tab on the left (Home) you will find contact information for the library, for me, and for John.  There is a brief explanation of the guide in the center.  The material in the right frame gives you you  complete access to all the PowerPoints, handouts, and supplementary materials I present  in my class.  If you are interested in using any of this,  I have two requests.  First, read the syllabus at the top of the list. You may not need everything that you find here.  Second, give credit where credit is due. Tell people where you got the material so they can use it too, if they like.  That’s it.

Tips on Content:  Make sure you check out the tabs.  Besides presenting information on the Library’s Online Career Center and this blog, you will also find RSS feeds, book and website recommendations, as well as  information on several databases that can be used for job and company research.  Especially important is Handout 8 on Plain Text, located  in the right frame of the Home page, and the tab above on “Applying Online”.  The handout gives you step-by-step instructions (screen shot by screen shot) for changing formatted text into ASCII/plain text as well as explaining why you need to do this.  Clicking on the tab will give you information on using online job applications as well as plain text.

Interested?  Just click on LibGuide: Applying for a Job Online.

Let me know what you think. Whether you are looking for a job or helping others become reemployed, good luck. I hope you are able to put this material to good use.


vea/ 9 June 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.


April 6, 2011

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows I am big on books. Books can help you learn how to tackle new challenges  in a way no other medium can.  The problem is where to begin.  Below I have listed five books that I believe are especially useful.  Take a look and see what you think.

Bolles, Richard Nelson. What Color is Your Parachute? Job-Hunters Workbook. 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2010 331.7 B63W. Putting together a resume, a profile, or making other initial job hunting decisions, can be difficult.  How can you know the answers if you don’t even know the questions you should be asking?  This workbook will show you the questions. Take a look.  It should help. And it’s by the dean of job hunting, the author of What Color is Your Parachute, first published in the early 70s and still going strong. You will find the 2011 edition in the new book section under 331.128 B63W, on those rare occasions when it’s not checked out.

Levinson, Jay Conrad and David E. Perry.  Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap into the Hidden Job Market Using Social Media and 999 Tactics Today. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2011.  331.7 L57G.  The computer has added a whole new barrier to getting you face-to-face with someone that can actually hire you.  How can you make the computer a doorway rather than a brick wall?  Take a look at this book.

Hirsch, Arlene S.  Job Search and Career Checklists: 101 Proven Time-saving Checklists to Organize and Plan Your Career Search. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2005.  331.7 H61J   This book delivers on its title.  These checklists are invaluable tools to figuring out what you need to do next and how to get that “to do” list done.

Crompton, Diane and Ellen Sautter.  Find a Job through Social Networking: Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and More to Advance Your Career. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2011.  331.7 C88F More jobs are found through networking than by any other means.  Although many people tend to use Facebook and Twitter for friends and family and LinkedIn for their professional contacts, all can be extremely useful when you know how to handle them for your job hunt.  And if you haven’t a clue what social networking is all about and want to learn more, Crompton and Sautter should give you a firmer foundation on which to build you job search.

Zack, Devora.  Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Under Connected. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2010. 331.7 Z12N The title alone is worth the price of admission.  I like this book because it is not only about networking online, but networking in person as well.  In the computer age, the age old idea of face to face networking should not be forgotten.

Let me know if these help you. Do you have other books that have been especially helpful to you?  Let me know about them and I’ll put together a new list.  Blogs are part of social networking. It’s all about sharing and helping each other.

If you would like to see additional books, check out the “Books” tab at the top of this blog.  Although many more books are included here, they are divided into manageable topics.  If you are only interested in resumes, check out that section.  If you want a book on social networking, look through the list under that heading. Skim through all the topics to see if there are others that you could put to good use.

vea/ 6 April 2011/updated 20 September 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

A Word About the Usefulness of Books

January 21, 2011

Career and Job Hunting Books at the Newton Free LibraryThe postings you find here usually point to online resources, classes, or programs held at the library.  Let us not forget another very important source of information —  books.  Whether you are flipping through pages looking for a more effective resume format or are reading closely to learn  how to do something that is complicated or unfamiliar, there is nothing quite like a book to help you with your job search.   If you take a look at this blog, you will see several tabbed subjects at the top, between the blog title and the latest posting. “Books” is one of these tabs.  Click on it and take a look.

I have just finished [20 January 2011] revamping this list, attempting to set in up in the order of a job hunt.  Starting with broader topics, like overall guides and reference books, I then list books that help you find job information on the Internet, including broad topics like search strategies down to specifics like job banks. Towards the beginning a job search, a person  will begin composing a basic resume, then cover letter . These are the next two categories. When a person finds a job listing, the process of refining a resume and cover letter begins. This hopefully leads to an interview, the next category of books.  At some point in this process, people start seeing references to the potential of social networking, especially LinkedIn, the next set of books. Looking for work in government offers a whole different set of demands and challenges. You will find books on that topic.  Questions or problems with career skills? There are books that help here as well.  The last section is on staying safe online.  Though not specifically related to your job hunt, you need to keep yourself out of the clutches of identity thieves.  And believe me, they prey on vulnerable people, and people looking for work are vulnerable.  Think about it.  How often have you been tempted to take chances that you might not do otherwise while you are hunting for a job.  A tip or chapter from one of these books might help keep you out of trouble.

An additional software format that is relatively new to the library is called LibGuides. Clicking lists of useful books will bring you directly to the Jobs’ LibGuide tab that includes books.  Updates to the various job booklists will now appear here first. [20 September 2011]

Take a look and give me some feedback if you have the chance.  Feel free to offer suggestions if a book has helped you that you don’t see on my list. Also books that you used but did not find especially useful.  Your comments are deeply appreciated.

vea/revised 20 January 2011/updated 20 September 2011
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Library website:
Newton’s Job Search Blog: