Have you ever Googled yourself? If not, try it – it’s really interesting to see what comes up when you search your own name. If you have, what did you find? Were the results scary, or would you be happy for a potential employer to see them? Even if you’re not actively searching for a new role, it’s worth taking the time to ensure your online reputation is the best it can be – you never know who could be looking at it or how it could be affecting your career prospects.
How to get a great online profile for job seeking:
1. Work out what you’d like to be known for:
Think of yourself as a brand. When marketing your brand to others online, what would you like your brand to be known for? If you’re interested in building your career, chances are you’d like to be seen as a professional – a leader or future leader in your field with unique insight into your industry. Whatever it might be, keep it in the forefront of your mind, then ensure everything you publish online supports that goal.
2. Get your name on the main platforms:
Want to be seen as a professional? You need to be on LinkedIn – it’s the largest professional network online and has over 225 million members. Create a complete, public profile listing all of your career achievements to date. Connect with everyone you know and write recommendations for those you have worked with – they may just do the same for you. Get on Twitter too – regular, thoughtful tweets about issues affecting your industry can help to build your profile as an industry thought leader. And while Facebook might not be the go-to site for professional networking, anything you like, comment on or post in that space could be viewed by a much wider circle than just your close friends, so keep that in mind and check your privacy settings while you’re at it.
3. Start a blog:
Want to differentiate yourself from others in your industry? Write a blog. This reinforces the message that you are a thought leader because if you write regular, in-depth blog entries about your field, you clearly have knowledge and a point of view. You can then link to the blog via your LinkedIn and Twitter account. What’s even better than sharing an article of interest with your followers? Sharing one you wrote.
4. Use your real name:
Whether it’s on Twitter, your blog, or when commenting on someone else’s posts, use your real name. Why? Because you want to build a reputation as a genuine, honest person with nothing to hide. You’re also less likely to be tempted into any antisocial behaviour, like posting nasty comments about other people or brands if you know potential bosses could see it.
5. Damage control:
Found a less-than-flattering photo of yourself while Googling? All is not lost. If it’s on Facebook, you should be able to untag yourself from it, or ask the person who posted it to take it down. If you discover things you have posted and now regret, you can delete them yourself. But what if you find something you can’t remove? If you build up your presence in other areas, you’ll be helping to push anything negative further down the search results page, or even better, onto the second page - many people don’t search beyond page one.
6. Stay proactive:
Now that you have this great online presence, it won’t stay great if you don’t look after it. Google allows you to sign up for alerts that will be sent each time a new mention is made of you online. Use these to address any negativity, or retweet any positivity. Write blog posts regularly, tweet often, and keep your details on LinkedIn up-to-date – you won’t be thought of as an industry expert if your content doesn’t stay current.
Don’t let your online presence have a negative impact on possible opportunities - try these tips out and ensure you get noticed in cyberspace for all the right reasons!