Next time you apply for a job, the hiring manager is going to Google your name and see what she finds. Do you know what people say about you? About things you've written? You should.
Google Alerts is a fantastic little tool that I don't hear people talk about enough. Google Alerts lets you enter a Google search once, and Google will update you whenever the Googlebot finds new matches for your search, often within only an hour or two of the page's publication.
The most obvious Alert search is your name, as a phrase in double quotes, but that's just the start. Here are some more ideas:
- Your name ("Andy Lester")
- Your nick ("petdance")
- Your email address ("firstname.lastname@example.org")
- Your company's name
- Resumes related to your job market in your area of expertise (I have an alert for "resume Perl Chicago" (but without the quotes)
- Titles from blog postings you've made
- Links to specific blog postings you've made using the link: syntax
Keep an eye on the results. It's not vanity, it's understanding your personal brand.
For more of my suggestions of how to improve your working life in 2010, see the January 2010 issue of PragPub magazine. It's a free download in three different electronic formats: PDF, ePub and mobi.