I made the mistake again of Googling my true name. AUGH…the Internet presence of my name clones is growing and most of them are up to no good in terms of job seeking. I’m VERY frustrated because how is an employer to know which person I am and are potential employers stupid enough to believe that names are unique. I’ve written about this topic before, but now that it could affect my ability to keep my roof above my head, I feel a certain sense of urgency on the matter. I do love the Internet, but how some people use it is questionable.
Giving what I’ve seen from Googling myself, I see that the Internet is, indeed, a sewage filled wasteland. There’s are some people who are up to things that may be objectionable to employers all sharing my name and all very active on the Internet. What’s a dull engineer like me to do to reclaim my identity and assert my dull, non-controversial self as a safe hire? Do I put on my resume that I’m the “dull engineer” with patents and not these other folks? How many job opportunities have passed me by because a potential employer Googled my name and found other people with the same name and then decided that I was unemployable based on prejudice and bias towards my name clones?
It is my belief that the Internet is not a reliable source of information about the personality or activities of a person. Googling a name is pointless because there are many people on this Earth with the same name. If a person explicitly gives you Internet URLs to check out, then I think it’s safe to say that is their Internet presence, or at least the Internet presence they want to feature as a potential employee. I know I could shout this to the wind and get laws passed outlawing Google as a tool for hiring and, regardless, people are still going to be curious and do an Internet search. However, keep in mind, that you REALLY have no idea what you’ve found and that you may be missing an opportunity to hire a great employee by “interviewing” the Internet, rather than the actual person who applied.