Web networking has become hugely popular in the last several years and it seems that everyone has a profile, a blog, or even a photo album online somewhere. But while Web networking helps connect both people and businesses, these sites have also caused a problem for professionals. Being online means continuously being open to public review, and anyone in the world can see your personal life on the Web (For more on this topic read “You’ve Been Googled” on ManageSmarter.com.
So far the challenge has been to make sure you’re representing yourself in the best way on the Web. For example, you don’t post photos of you and your buddies on beer night anymore because you don’t want recruiters to get the wrong impression of you. But today I stumbled across a Web networking site that can help you make sure others aren’t finding those embarrassing pics.
Zoominfo.com is a networking site that has the potential to grow as big as LinkedIn or MySpace. But unlike the other sites, Zoominfo.com is not centered on building a private profile and making friends—it’s an like an online Whitepages for the business world. The site is a Web-data-collection database that lets you search for summaries on both colleagues and companies alike. You can easily find a person’s business history, education, association networks, Web mentions and more.
I originally came across the site while performing a Google search on myself—I like to periodically check to make sure nothing too personal is available for the entire world to see. The link brought me to a page that already listed my basic business information—my name, my company and my job title. But what I was amazed to see was a list of links (all to ManageSmarter.com) where my Web mentions, in my case, articles I had written, appeared. Zoominfo.com did the work of searching Google for me.
I was impressed, so I decided to register and complete my Zoominfo.com Web summary. It was quick and extremely user friendly. The site even sent me an e-mail with a direct link to my summary page to include in my e-mails and on my business cards.
While the site claims creating your Web summary will help to boost your rankings in Google searches, I think the best asset Zoominfo.com offers is the ability to personally manage your online presence and instantly see what a search would bring up about you. It helps you make sure that your personal information isn’t being seen when a recruiter or your boss browses cyberspace and instead it gives structure to your personal information. Now you can be sure that recruiters, colleagues and friends always see the professional you.