What do most of us do nowadays when we want to find information quickly? We search the internet. If I put YOUR name into Google today what will I find? What percentage of the first three pages of a Google search will be about you rather than someone else with the same name?
And most importantly: Will the items on the search list be ones you want a recruitment consultant or headhunter to find?
Hiring managers, recruitment consultants and headhunters are using Google searches every day. A 2006 survey by ExecuNet found that 77 percent of recruiters Google candidates to find out more about them. In addition up to 35 percent will remove potential candidates from the recruitment process based on what they find out this way. Human Resources professionals frequently use websites such as zoominfo.com to get a quick insight into an individual.
You can see from this that you need personal brand equity online. To be credible in a professional role today you need positive, career relevant information appearing on a Google search. If you don’t you are in danger of being what I call a “Netty-NO-Mark”. (Your search “john doe” did not match any documents). Or perhaps, more seriously for your career prospects, you may be seen as an uncontrolled Net-Gossip: Someone who chatters on blogs and other websites undermining your professional credibility with trivia.
So what should you do if you are about to launch yourself into the job market and make your next career move?
Check your online identity status
1. Run a Google search: analyze what you find.
2. If your search shows items about you: use the Career Distinction online identity calculator to find out the strength of your online presence Online Identity Calculator
3. Use ZoomInfo to double check what recruiters can find out about you.
Assess your online identity and take action
1. If you have a high Google Quotient and you are happy with your online identity, fantastic! Just keeping doing what you are already doing.
2. If you find what William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson of Career Distinction call “digital dirt”, clean up as much of it as you can. If you’ve been indulging yourself with wacky videos on YouTube or anything similar now is the time to remove them.
3. If you need to raise your online presence quickly put profiles onto high ranking business networking sites such as.
Not only will you be providing up to date professional details you will start connecting with people who can help you with your next career move.
Don’t let you online identity stop you from getting hired into the great new job you want. When you are planning the marketing campaign for your next career move do those standard tasks: update your resume or CV, craft a cover letter etc. But remember make your ME SEARCH part of your JOB SEARCH. First and foremost make managing your online personal brand equity a top priority.
© Dorothea Stuart 2007
Dorothea Stuart works with lawyers and other savvy professionals who want to build their business/careers by enhancing their professional visibility; developing their personal brand and communicating their expertise.
Dorothea is a Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist and author of Career Change Essentials: switching careers in the 21st century.
http://dorotheastuart.com For more information on Career Change Essentials click here