Someone recently made a thought-provoking comment about the suitability of one of my very talented associates for a particular business project. The person making the selection was skeptical, maybe even a little uneasy, because little information was available with which to assess my colleague’s skills and professionalism. My associate didn’t have an online presence and had not become convinced of the value of transparency. I was surprised that being an unknown quantity could have such an adverse impact.
As a freelancer, I have a very short time to get to know a potential client when I pitch my ideas or services. Certainly we size each other up before deciding whether to enter into a contract. To be honest, I often feel as though I’m getting more information than the client, who might be relying on my disclosures rather than actively interrogating me.
Many people are not comfortable conducting interviews. They tend to tell freelancers or job applicants a lot about themselves and their businesses, almost as though they were selling their own attributes without questioning the abilities and experience of the individuals being interviewed. Meetings frequently are conducted to gather subjective impressions of candidates rather than objective data on which to base significant business decisions.
Because the interview process is awkward and potentially ineffective, it’s advantageous to provide information clients or customers want and need in a transparent, accessible manner on the Web. A blog, for example, reveals an unconventional perspective of a person’s values, personality traits, proficiencies, and comportment that can effectively supplement the traditional résumé and portfolio.