Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Me is Already Public

A few weeks ago, I went to a job interview, and I was surprised how well-briefed all my interviewers were about me already.

Did they want a copy of my resume? Well, no thanks, they’d already downloaded it from my LinkedIn profile. How about examples of my previous work? No worries–they knew who I had worked for before, and had passed around the copies of recent work I’d emailed them. Recommendations? Already done, since a colleague of mine had introduced me to the vice president of the division previously.

I had four quick and efficient interviews in the course of the hour, and in each case, the interviewers already knew what they wanted to ask me, asked it, and then dashed out to pull in the next interviewer. It was quite impressive, but a little intimidating, too.

Was what I had posted on LinkedIn really the me I wanted them to see? I’d always thought I’d be tailoring my resume to job positions I was interested in, and the resume I have on LinkedIn is oriented towards consulting work (which is primarily what I want, but still…) I have used LinkedIn as a resource of listing and keeping in touch with all the people I have worked with and/or would like to work with; but clearly, it’s also being used by recruiters to find key employees, too. Perhaps I should have posted a more formal picture of myself, rather than one I quickly took with my webcam! Perhaps I should polish my statement about myself, rather than the quick note I have about my background and current professional interests!

And what else had these efficient interviewers known about me before I stepped in the door? Had they checked this blog, and if so, did my personal life affect their decision? I try not to be controversial, but you never know what might set someone off. Did the see my letters to the editor to a local magazine, which has been cached for all eternity, or did they Google me and perhaps confuse me with one of the other Carolyn Bickfords, like one who was a VP of Marketing–and then wonder why I’d excluded her experience from my resume?

In the end, I don’t know, but I suspect the interviewers’ due diligence will pay off with the right hire. And I wonder how much I may ever need to bring to an interview in the future (besides myself and my personality), given that everything else is already out there to be known.

1 Comment

  1. Shiaw-Ling

    Apparently recruiters are pulling in people from wherever they can these days! In addition to posting job listings, they’re also combing social media sites to find qualified candidates to interview. I met one guy who was calling up folks nationally to try to find a Flash developer for their development team. He spent most of his time sifting through resumes on everything from Craigslist to Careerbuilder to Facebook and LinkedIn.

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