Do you ever wonder how much information about you is floating around in cyber space? If you haven’t ever searched your name online, you should try it just for fun. It’s important to be aware of what information others can access about you because when you apply for a job, an employer is likely to go online to research more about you. Gone are the days when an employer would only look at your résumé.
The web has become a medium for personal branding. It helps others connect to information that tells who you are and what you do. It’s important that positive results show up in a search about you. If no search results show up about you, it’s time for you to generate some results yourself. When it comes to online branding, you have to take some matters into your own hands. Here are a few tips to help you create your own positive online brand for yourself.
Choose your name. If you have a common name, it’s important to decide how you want to format it. For instance, Tom Z. White will show up better in a web search than just Tom White, simply because adding an initial or your middle name will differentiate you. As you begin to brand yourself, see how your name stacks up by trying an online identity calculator. Also, when you decide on what name you are going to use, be sure to stay consistent and use it with all your online branding and even on hard copies of items like your résumé, cover letter, and business cards. The name an employer sees on your résumé is the name they will search online. So it’s important that your information is consistent and matches up.
Create professional social media profiles for yourself. For example, LinkedIn is one of the popular social media sites for listing information about your work experiences, interests, and education. You can upload your résumé, include details about your work history, and showcase recommendations others have made about you. It also allows you to make networking connections with others. Just be sure you’re aware of what your personal social media sites reveal about you because they may show up in a web search about you, too. A few other great sites like Brazen Careerist, Plaxo, and Friendfeed can also help you build your network and visibility.
Create a professional blog. A professional interest blog allows you to write about and share information on topics that interest you and pertain to your career. To maximize your results with this tool, be sure to focus on professional subjects and always include your name on it, so when you post information search engines like Google can recognize that it was created by you. As you post more content, the ranking of your blog will rank higher in search results. Find out more about creating a blog.
Write for other blogs. With an abundance of blogs available to choose from today, many blogs and news sites are looking for additional content writers. If you don’t want to create your own blog, you can still write for someone else and include your name in it. This is also a great way to help your name get recognized in search results. So, start finding blogs that interest you and begin building relationships with those blog writers.
Comment on blogs. Using your full name when you leave comments on others’ blogs will also allow you to show up in search results. You can leave thoughtful, professional comments on subject-matter blogs in your field of interest. This is a simple way to build your online presence, especially if you use a unique name when you post comments.
Create an online résumé. This is like your traditional résumé, except it’s kicked up a notch. An online version allows you to incorporate multimedia elements such as podcasts, videos, photos, and social media sites. It can also let you showcase a portfolio of your best work. Having an online résumé shows an employer that you go above and beyond. And because it’s housed online, you never know who could find it and offer you the next big job. Get more information on creating an online résumé.
These are some basic tips to help you create an online identity for yourself and get noticed more in search results. As businesses continue to evolve and our society becomes more technologically savvy, having a résumé isn’t always enough. You have to evolve with the times too, and following these tips can help you do just that.