Friday, December 31, 2010

How To Protect Your On-line Reputation

By Barbara LaBier

These days it seems that anybody can say negative things about you on the web, but what can you do to fight back?
Through data mining Google and other search engines collect millions of facts and data that your future descendants might access to find out about you after you’re gone, according to Christine Schiwietz an Assistant professor of Sociology at George Washington University.

Dr. Schiwietz and Nino Kader President of International Reputation Management (IRM) spoke at the National Press Club last month offering tips on protecting your on-line image. The talk was supported by the Washington Network Group (WING).

Unfortunately, the days of privacy and unanimity are gone, if you don’t like what the world is saying about you the only thing you can do in response is change your name, revealed CEO Eric Schmidt of Google in a Wall Street Journal article.

Most of us do not want to go to this extreme to find peace of mind. As Google real-time search and sites like Facebook and Twitter continue to grow, it becomes more necessary than ever to monitor your on-line reputation.The first step in protecting your reputation is to Google your name on the net to see what comes up, suggests Kidder.

Schiwietz advises setting up a Google alert to capture what different websites or blogs are saying about you. Once a week or more often new instances of your name will be tracked and the information sent to you. Continue the tracking process by subscribing using your full name to, a bog search engine and BackType, a blog comment search engine to reach blogs that Google alerts do not contact. However, negative comments may be difficult to remove.

There are folks outrageous enough to steal a resume on-line. A Project Manager at GSA was given someone’s resume by her boss who said it looked very familiar. After reading it, she was shocked to discover that it was her resume that she’d used to apply for her current job several years before. Instead of finding her own name and address on the resume, there was a strangers. This person had stolen the content of her resume that she’d uploaded to When she requested that the search engine take down the counterfeit resume, they refused. She tried to contact author of the phony resume, but she could not be found.

Another kind of problem occurs if a negative comment about someone appears in a blog; generally, it’s usually not worth fighting over on-line. Contacting the owner of the blog off-line it is much better idea. Adding fuel to the fire could create a situation where the owner of the blog continues to broadcast untrue or negative information about you. Knowing who you are dealing with will determine how far you should go in pursuing a problem. Some people are decent and will remove the information but not everyone. If you are forced to clarify the issue on-line take an open, peacemaking attitude when answering comments.

 Of course, you can try to sue the person for defamation of character. However it seems that legally the law has not caught up with the problems produced on the internet. According to employment law of the 1940-60’s, requesting a photo or any information regarding skin color, nationality, or origin was considered illegal and could have possibly lead to discrimination. Social media has produced a lot of change that has not as yet been challenged in the courts.

One solution according to Nino Kader of IRM is to counteract bad publicity by minimizing it by incorporating new material about you so that detrimental comments are pushed farther and farther back in the pages of Google. For example, you could have several people recommend you on-line and, consequently, revitalize your reputation.

• If you have a website purchase your own domain name including the following versions: .org, .com, .gov, .net. When you have two names in the title of your website, also buy the domain name that has a hyphen between the two names. If you don’t do this and your name is popular you may be subject to competitors who steal your name by creating domains very similar to yours.
• Write blogs and articles and post them from your own computer and distribute them to different sites. Identify blogs and forums you contribute to within your professional circle in your profile.
• Create content with video and audio to broadcast on U-Tube.
.Provide links listing your name and the location of the article and place a John Doe link to site.
• Establish an identity through Linked-in to provide a professional profile for work and networking. Update your profile frequently. Also highlight your experience as a board member and other activities.
• Write recommendations for others and they may reciprocate.
• Join groups on-line and contribute your opinions.
• On Facebook create an identity to reconnect with old friends.

Save On-line Reputation         

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Identifying Career Changing Skills by Barbara LaBier


By Barbara LaBier

Identifying transferable skills is necessary when changing careers.

These skills can be used to market yourself to employers during interviews as well as writing cover letters and resumes. Transferable skills are universal and are used to describe experience in every occupation regardless of the type of work. They are more important than job-related skills which are used to describe one type of work since transferable skills are unrelated to past employment or educational experience.

You can use transferable skills to create a self-inventory that can be adapted to evaluate and describe any working situation. Put a check mark next to each of 10 skills that match your background and review in your mind the tasks you’ve associated with this skill.
Study a job description and the key words to determine the type of career that you want to apply for. Do a search on or other job search engines to review job titles and match them against your background. Highlight keywords that you can use in a new context to describe your experience.

Learn the jargon or buzz words of your potential career. When you review the Transferable Skills Sheet located in a the same article located at, notice that each list of skills has a heading. In the first column you’ll see Analytical and underneath the title are descriptive key words you can use to describe your tasks in your resume. The table and columns contain transferable skills as well as specific examples of how the skills have been used. Putting each keyword in the context where you have previously used it on the job or to highlight activities such as part-time work, internships, special projects, volunteer work, and education is a great help when it comes to writing your resume and cover letter. Transferable skills are also used in statements to answers competency based questions for knowledge, skills and ability questions (KSA’a) that are part of a Federal resume or other questionnaires that may be part of other applications.( Unfortunately the Transferable Skill Sheet is a table  that is not transfered properly inside this blog.

You can find the article and table at