Q. The extent of my technological savvy is that I have an email address. Do you have to join all the Internet networks to get a job these days?
A. No, a job is still a matter of connecting with the person who needs your services and proving you are the best candidate for the job. Being all over the Internet is not the only way to achieve this goal.
I coach my clients to make sure that they are using the Internet and that the internet isn't using them during a job search. I have clients who come in so scared that their Internet presence isn't impressive enough that they end up spending valuable job search time begging everyone they know for a LinkedIn review.
The truth is, if you are in your 50s or up, the amount of time it will take to create a truly amazing LinkedIn review would probably be better spent joining specific professional associations and making personal connections with people who can hire you. Some online networks take years of work before you look as impressive on the network as you are in person.
If you are in your 20w, 30s or early 40s, you have probably been building an online presence for much of your life. In your case, the idea of LinkedIn and other networks makes good sense.
What you don't want to do when building your network is to become so annoying to your colleagues with requests for positive reviews that you actually make your network less generous at a time you really need their support.
An exception to the age rule is if you are in a technology field. Having your resume all over Monster and other technology sites is an excellent way to get contacted by the right recruiters no matter what your age is. However, note that these sites don't ask you to demonstrate you know 200 of the right people and have a list of reviews that go on for days.
Even if you only have an email address, an easy way to build an online presence is to write for any online publication that will use what you write. You don't need a degree in journalism or English, or writer's resume, to start writing online. If you don't believe me, look more closely at the quality of many blogs out there.
Speaking of blogs, unless you are well known, well connected, or a media personality -- don't start a blog. Blogs are hard to find and read more like the Dear Diary ramblings of a self-absorbed individual than content that establishes you as an expert.
Writing for any publication, however, establishes you as someone with passion, tools, and an interest in helping others understand your industry. Especially if the publication has been online for a while, people will easily find your articles.
If you want to try your hand at a website, even if you work for someone else, technology has made a basic website nearly idiot proof. You can use this site to link to articles you've written.
In an actual interview, remember, the committee is still evaluating to find the person who can contribute the most to the company that is hiring. The most impressive online presence in the world is no substitute for real talent, a solid background and the skills to do the work.
The last word(s)
Q. Are office affairs always a bad idea?
A. Yes, unless you are certain the affair will end in a good marriage.
(Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" each Monday morning. She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). You can contact Dr. Skube at http://www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.)Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun