The beauty and curse of the internet.


Seems like everyone has got an opinion about everything these days. The beauty and curse of the internet.

Here is the rub. With newspapers, magazines and television, someone (the editor) was responsible for separating commentary from fact. These days that line has been blurred considerably because people can self-publish without any filters.

To make matters more complicated, the social media “experts” tell us that if you are in business you have to constantly provide content to stay relevant and top of mind. Increasingly that content has to be provocative to get noticed.

If you are a regular user of LinkedIn you’ve seen them. The 5 or 7 or 10 reasons for one thing or another or the obviously “lets pick a fight” articles whose sole purpose appears to be to get the author noticed, rather that inform the reader.

I have been in the employment industry for over 25 years, first as an executive recruiter, and more recently as a career consultant specializing in job search.

Frankly, I am appalled at the really bad advice that is made freely available for public consumption on the web regarding job search and career management. Not only is much of it poorly researched, some, as I said above, is simply based on the authors opinion or is so provocative or contrarian as to be almost valueless to main stream job searchers.  Opinion is OK as long as it is backed up by experience, and it is identified as opinion. Much of the time however, it isn’t and is mistaken as authoritative.

I desperately believe in a free press, so I am not suggesting that those who write articles that are factually wrong or inflammatory be in any way restricted in doing so. But surely individuals must take personal responsibility for what they put out for public consumption. Personal responsibility does not take a back seat to the social media development interests of business people and bloggers.

In job search the stakes are high, and the consequences of bad advice are that someone may not find work.  Let’s all try to remember that.