These days, over 50% of employers Google prospective employees before they hire them. This means that you need to be paying attention to your on-line image. So Google yourself! See what comes up.
Keep your private life private. You can still have personal information on the web. Just make sure that it’s only available to the people you want to see it.
Be careful what you write on your blog, or other people’s blogs or social networking pages. Don’t let the whole world see your personal information:
Build a Professional Brand both on and off-line.
Once you’ve made sure that your personal information is only viewable by those you want to see it, start building your professional brand. This will serve a couple of purposes. In addition to being information that showcases your talents for potential employers, it’s also information that, if created properly, will bump the not-so-good stuff down the list in Google. That way, any prospective employer who Googles you, should see what you want them to see – your professional branding.
Professional Branding Tools
- JibberJobber – Use JibberJobber to keep track of those networking contacts and keep a log of how they have helped you.
- LinkedIn – Create a LinkedIn profile and start connecting. Ask and answer LinkedIn questions to increase your visibility.
- VisualCV – Create a VisualCV to share with contacts and prospective employers.
- Write a Blog – I know everyone, almost literally, has a blog these days. However, a well-written blog focused on your area of expertise is another good addition to your professional branding package.
- Create a Presence – Comment on other people’s blogs, write some articles, go to industry meetings, conventions, and events, and make contacts in your field. Be sure that all your endeavors are focused and relevant to both your skills and your career goals.
- Build a Web Site – Consider a web site to create and showcase your brand. Many web hosting services have built in web building tools and it’s quick and easy to build a site that reflects your professional presence.
- Get Your Name Out There – Try to meet, either online or in-person, the important people in your field. Send them an email or a message via their web site or networking profile. Over the years, I’ve met lots of the important people in the world of job searching and careers, many of them because I sent them a quick email introducing myself or vice versa.