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Overselling Yourself Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, August 24, 2009 9:36 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Overselling Yourself






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Post #776419
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 6:59 AM
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If I don't oversell myself, how else will I be able to meet the extraordinary job requirements (15 years experience in every possible acronym) that get posted?
Post #776627
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:24 AM


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First off, I wanted to say thanks to Steve for providing a resource that can pay us back with career development. I know the few articles I've written have received positive attention from employers.

That being said, lots of time, effort, and thought went into the articles I wrote.
I see plenty of articles on plenty of sites that are more about "being seen" than adding value.

Those can be harmful to your career.

If I were on a hiring panel and read a lousy article by a candidate, they are going to have to work pretty hard to show me that they're better than the buffoon who wrote the article.

If you wrote a good article, I would tend to let a few interview mistakes go by as 'nerves' because I've seen what the candidate is capable of when not under the pressure of a job interview.


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Craig Outcalt



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Post #776657
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 7:41 AM


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I include my online presence as part of my resume. Don't even force them to Google me. (Googling my name doesn't actually find much that's useful, or even that's connected to me in any way.) On the other hand, I do a vanity search of my own name periodically to see what's going to come up if someone does Google me.

Overselling is just a way to lose opportunities. Works in sales, works in interviews, etc. Honesty is critical.


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Post #776675
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:53 AM
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This has been a perpetual problem for govt employment. For some jobs we could not even acknowledge product familiarity much less evaluate or offer critical advice. So most of us do what's the next best: use a pseudonym and move on. But employers using online info about a person to make employment decisions is a bad trend. It is just as bad as snooping into my medical records to see if I'm an acceptable risk or weighing the likelihood of maternity leave when hiring women.
Post #776844
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 1:09 PM
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I agree with sjsubscribe regarding online searches as job candidate evaluation tools.



Post #777018
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 1:58 PM


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sjsubscribe (8/25/2009)
This has been a perpetual problem for govt employment. For some jobs we could not even acknowledge product familiarity much less evaluate or offer critical advice. So most of us do what's the next best: use a pseudonym and move on. But employers using online info about a person to make employment decisions is a bad trend. It is just as bad as snooping into my medical records to see if I'm an acceptable risk or weighing the likelihood of maternity leave when hiring women.


Looks like a double standard to me here. It's okay for us as potential employees to research potential employers, but it isn't okay for potential employers to research their potential employees? If you have a public, on-line persona, then it is fair game for companies to see what you are putting out in the world.



Lynn Pettis

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Post #777052
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 2:06 PM


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Manage your online presence. It can help you, and it isn't that much work.

Employers not seeing what you've done online? I disagree. Don't post if you don't want it to be a part of your career. But post what you do want to be a part of your career.

You can't control what others might post, either, but I think you should be aware of what they post.







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Post #777062
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:25 PM


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sjsubscribe (8/25/2009)
This has been a perpetual problem for govt employment. For some jobs we could not even acknowledge product familiarity much less evaluate or offer critical advice. So most of us do what's the next best: use a pseudonym and move on. But employers using online info about a person to make employment decisions is a bad trend. It is just as bad as snooping into my medical records to see if I'm an acceptable risk or weighing the likelihood of maternity leave when hiring women.


Hope you don't mind, but I strongly disagree with that. If someone were to post their medical records in a public place, they would get read and, like it or not, used against them. That's why they're not posted on the internet. The same holds true with blogs, articles, and forum posts and, much like that which occurs when actually speaking in a public place, people are held accountable for their words. It's all up to the writer and the speaker as to which direction that accountability will drive the reader or listener of the words. If people don't want certain information to be public, they simply shouldn't post it in the very public place known as the Internet. If they can't help what they say, they should keep a diary instead of a blog. And for programmers, they really should do some decent research before they post code or write articles to impress a possible employer or a Microsoft MVP panel or to make an ill begotten buck or two on blog sponsorships. It's just like keeping a secret... if you don't want someone to know, you shouldn't tell anyone never mind the whole world... keep it off the internet.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
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Post #777245
Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009 11:00 PM


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Steve, great editorial, as usual. My recent bout with folks that have been copying my articles as my own has led me to take one extra step on any candidates for jobs that I may have the pleasure to interview. I take several snippets of their article and code, and I Google the whole snippet just looking for people who take someone else's words as their own. If they'll lie on a blog or steal for a blog, they'll do the same in the place of work.

Personally, I love people's blogs, posts, and some of their articles. It makes my job as an interviewer so much easier. Here's a snippet from one of my recent posts on this very subject...

What's really cool about many of these blogs and articles is that it does in fact make it easier on employers. Think of the pre-interview conversations... (all made up, of course )

Manager: "Ok, have you Googled all the candidates?"
On site DBA: "Yep."

Manager: "Ok, let's start with candidate #1."
On site DBA: "Shouldn't be allowed to use a computer nor talk to humans. The blogs were full of spelling errors and really bad grammar. You could tell he was in a hurry and paid no attention to detail. He just wanted to put something out there."

Manager: "How about #2?"
On site DBA: "It's ironic that you said that. He's a real crud ball... his attitude on his blog is arrogant and very condescending while most of his code violated all common sense and best practices. I also Googled some phrases from his blog and determined that he stole articles from the internet and posted them on his blog as his own."

Manager: "Wow. Ok, how about candidate #3?"
On site DBA: "Needs severe mental health counseling. Blogged about how to plant "bombs" in the code so that if she got fired, things would either stop working or data would be destroyed. Her discussions about her personal life were also startling. We should report her to the FBI because I think she might be a terrorist."

Manager: "#4?"
On site DBA: "I had some of the developers take a look at his code on his blog and the advice he gave in two articles he wrote. We've coined a new term for people like this guy. 'MOROFF'"
Manger: "Moroff?"
On site DBA: "Yep... he's a real moron except his code and conjectures were 'more off' than on."

Manager: "#5!!???"
On site DBA: "Let's schedule an interview for this guy. His resume was well written, had no spelling errors, and he cited examples of some of the major improvements he made in previous environments in a rather matter-of-fact way. He doesn't have a blog but the handful of articles he published were also well written, the code examples were well done, appropriate for the task, and easy to read. He did make a mistake here and there but took the criticism offered in the discussions that followed very well and made corrections. He appears to be confident, detail oriented, and yet he gives the impression of being appropriately humble and cooperative without being a milk-sop that would simply give in to bad users requests. Some of the things he said in both his resume and in his articles shows the he thinks that protection of the data is paramount even if it means occasionally defying the team by saying "NO" and he did so without arrogance. I think the developers would like him and I think I could work with him very easily.

Manager: "We really need to speed this up... I'm running out of time. #6?"
On site DBA: "Terrorist."

Manager: "#7?"
On site DBA: "Bully."

Manager: "#8?"
On site DBA: "Moroff."

Manager: "#9?"
On site DBA: "Interview."

Manager: "#10?"
On site DBA: "Milk-sop."

Manager: "#11?"
On site DBA: "Lazy sot."

Manager: "#12?"
On site DBA: "Can't actually spell SQL."

...
...
...

Yeah... I love people's blogs...


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
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