Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stalked off

Now, I know the article [Stalk your way to a new job] was tongue-in-cheek, but I don't recommend stalking individual people at an organization--you should follow news stories and items about an organization. If the people that work there happen to publish and you might end up working in their department, you should read their publicly available work. But staking out their Facebook page?

According to the article,

Within minutes, you can find out where he’s from, how to reach him, where he’s worked in the past, and – perhaps most importantly – what his favorite movie is. The more you know about him, the better your ability to sell yourself.

Not so fast. This depends on a few factors.
  1. The person is online and is accessible. This mean that they keep their blog or their Facebook profile out in the public sphere on their own name. Lots of people don't.
  2. Even if you think you have the right person, how do you know that you do? Plenty of celebrities have people who name-jack them (would that be Twitter jack?) but I know quite a few people who have misspelled potential colleagues names.
  3. For librarians, many of us know where the privacy settings are. And we teach others where to find them.
A far more helpful post would have been how to find out information about a company and their prospects, especially for privately-owned or small firms not listed on the 500 that Fortune slavers over each year.

No comments: