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.

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:

Help for Job Seekers from the Massachusetts State Website

November 17, 2010

The state of Massachusetts offers help for job seekers in various sections of its online website.  I would suggest starting with the Job Seekers section of Labor and Workforce Development. Click here to find this.  Take a look at the headings and explanations to see which of these categories will be most useful to you.

Two key sections that you should definitely read through here are “Career Centers” and “Job Hunting: Information to Help You.”  Under “Career Centers,” you will find free classes that give you the opportunity to learn or to hone computer and  job searching skills. “Job Hunting: Information to Help You” is a treasure trove of useful material.  It includes advice on everything from resumes, networking, and interviewing, to tips for completing an online application. (If you are already trying to cut and paste your resume information into an online application or email and are having trouble, you may need to change your resume from formatted text to plain text. This is not covered on the state site. To learn how to do this, click on the Newton Free Library list of class handouts and open number 7.)  

When you are going through the Massachusetts offerings, as with anything on the web, use your judgment.  If you are not comfortable with a recommended site or with launching your resume onto an online posting site, don’t use it or do it.  The state lists as one of a number of recommended sources.  Personally that would be a site I would hesitate either to use or to recommend.  (See new posting above regarding craigslist.)  To learn more information about posting resumes, click here.

One additional site is the state’s  job blog.  Called Commonwealth Conversations, you can find it at

If you want to check the main site for Massachusetts state government, go to  Here you will find a whole range of state services and information. To maneuver your way around the site, you can scroll down to the very bottom right corner and click on Site Map.  You can also check the A-Z Subject Listing near the top right of the website.

Good luck on your job hunt.

17 November 2010/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

November Job Search Programs at the Newton Free Library

November 3, 2010
Photo taken by vea The Curious Genealogist

Newton Free Library October 2010

On Tuesday, November 16th at 7:00 pm the library will be sponsoring an interactive forum on Networking for Career Connections with Tammy Gooler Loeb.  It will be in the Druker Auditorium (immediately to your left as you come over the bridge into the building from the parking lot.)

Making  connections through networking is key, whether you want to enhance your career or find a job. Have you been thinking you need to sharpen your existing networking skills? Do you need to find out how to develop them from scratch? Or are you uncomfortable with the very idea of networking? Many people find this particular aspect of the job hunt overwhelming.  Whatever your concerns, you couldn’t have a better guide to mapping out your networking strategies than Tammy.    This two hour session will give you the opportunity to gain practical knowledge that will be of real use in your career or on your job search. For more information, click on the title of the program in the first paragraph above.

This month’s class on “Applying for a Job Online” will be held at the Newton Free Library on Thursday, November 18th,  from 2:30 t0 3:30. The class is located in the library’s computer training room on the second floor near the top of the front staircase. There are only ten computer stations so we ask you to call us and register to save your place.  The phone number is 1-617-796-1380.

The class covers the use of several online databases, gives tips on dealing with applying for a job online, and shows in detail how to change your formated resume into plain text.  Having a plain text copy of your resume is critical when you want to send it in the body of your email or when you need to cut and paste it into an online job application. There is a large amount of material to go over, so classes can sometimes run overtime.  You will be given handouts of everything covered in class. You should be able to  follow the handouts and  do at home most of what we do in class.

Copies of the handouts have recently been added to the library website.    If you live too far away to come to class, you should still be able to put the handouts to good use.   Click  here to get to them directly. This brings you to the “Class Materials and Other Resources.” To get here from the Newton Free Library homepage, go to and put your cursor on the “Services” option near the top right of the page. Then choose “Computer, IT & Classes.”  Near the bottom of the list that appears is “Class Materials and Other Resources.”   Click on it. Handouts 3, 4, and 5 have been completely updated as of June 11th.  Handout 6, “Saving a Resume to Plain Text,” was updated on June 4th.  All contain instructions combined with screen shots. You may have to wait for several seconds for the screen shots to download.  Click on each handout to look at them online.  Feel free to print  out any of interest.  If you teach a job search class, you may use any of this material if you credit the source.  See the end of each handout.  If you have any difficulty downloading a handout in Internet Explorer, try it in the Mozilla Firefox browser.

There is a third program I would like to mention. Although this talk is not specifically geared to job searching, if you are curious about social networking in general and Facebook specifically, you might want to come to the library’s Drucker Auditorium (immediately to your left as you come over the bridge into the building from the parking lot) on Monday, November 8th at 7:00.  John Walsh, the Assistant Head of Reference, will present ” Demystifying Facebook and Social Networking.” This is the perfect place to come if you’ve got questions about Facebook.  It’s an even better place if you don’t have a clue about what questions to ask.  At some point you may run across a book or an article about using Facebook in your Job Search.  This program will give you a head start in understanding what Facebook and social networking are and how they work.

3 November 2010/vea
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

A Note on Posting Replies

August 27, 2010

Since blogs are a part of online social networking  (aka Web 2.0), they provide you, as a reader, the opportunity to answer back.   Any time you have an opinion  or a comment regarding a post you have read, you can type it out and let us know what you think or give additonal advice.

There are two ways to get to a reply box in WordPress, the blog provider I use.  You can scroll to the bottom of the blog post where you will see the option to “Leave a Comment”, usually in blue.  Clicking on it will bring you immediately to the box where you can type your reply.  You can also click on the title in black at the top of a post (not the picture or logo below it).  This will bring up the original posting by itself, without any of the other postings that follow when you first bring up the blog.  You will have to scroll down to the bottom (past both the posting and a WordPress ad or two) to get to the box where you can type your reply.

Note that your reply will not appear immediately since most blog administrators will look over a reply before allowing it to appear on the blog.  I am no exception. This may be done for many reasons, but the main two are  to check for inappropritate language or to make sure a writer is not using their reply for the sole purpose of leading the reader to another website or blog where they are selling a product or service.

When you first look at a blog, it is a good idea to look for a posted Comments Policy.  Granted, it’s not the most exciting reading, but it is useful to know what is going on and how the blog opperates. There will probably be a certain amout of legalese to get through as well, but it is there to protect everyone associated with the blog, including the reader.  The Newton Free Library’s blog policy is posted to the right of the most recent posting title at the top of this blog’s home page.

Good bloggers will take note of the comments of their readers and send them through for others to read.  The feedback is useful and we love the conversation.

vea/27 August 2010
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

Tweet Deals: Using Twitter to Find a Job

February 9, 2010

How do you use a site that has a limit of 140 characters per entry for anything useful, let alone finding a job?   Please read carefully.  We are not talking 140 words here, but 140 individual letters, numbers, and spaces.  When was the last time you tried to say anything in 140 letters and spaces?   Last spring, 18 May 2009 to be exact, the New York Post published an article explaining how people do just that.   Click on here or the logo above to see if this is something you could use in your own job search.