As promised, here is some (additional) advice to the countless people out there searching for jobs (esp. those in the consulting industry). To a lot of you this might be obvious, but it’s so important that I’m going to underscore it again.
Think of that Sting song — every firm that you apply to will be watching you. This watching comes in two forms, both of which you need to be aware of:
- Big Brother The firms you apply to will be checking your online presence — meaning, they will be looking at your Facebook account, your MySpace account, any associated blogs, your LinkedIn account, etc.
- Every interaction you have with the firm up until the moment you are hired (and sometimes even after) will be scrutinized and (at least at my firm) recorded so that the firm will have a good repository of information on your motivations and behavior.
While some of you will (naturally) respond by attempting to restrict all such access to your personal life, let me suggest an alternative approach:
- Instead of thinking this as an invasion of your privacy, think of this, instead, as an opportunity to put your best foot forward. Instead of clamping down on access to your Facebook/MySpace account, clean the account of less “savory” material and then present a selective slice of your profile — showcase what you would want a recruiter to see: interests and books which reflect your depth of intelligence, quotes which suggest depth of thought, etc. And, this is a perfect time to revamp your LinkedIn profile — get recommendations, show off connections, etc.
- There’s little you can do that’s proactively good about the fact that a lot of these firms are recording and observing every detail of your every interaction with them, except to be aware. Too many people don’t put their best foot forward (e.g. saying stupid things while tipsy on the company dollar) — long story short: DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.