I’m doing some preparation for a talk I’m delivering to some young people who are entering the world of work and new careers about how they can make sure their profiles shine online so they can make a good first impression with potential employers. I thought I would share some of my recommendations here.
Of course, it’s not just school leavers that should maintain what the Google Gods say about them; it’s something everyone who has a presence online should be doing as a matter of course. Make it part of your online routine, say, once a month or week, to search online to see what’s new about you. Set up a Google alert for your name so you get an email delivered to you. It’s not vain to Google yourself as some people would have you believe! It’s a sensible, assertive, and practical thing to do. This is your profile, your name and your reputation, remember.
First things first, I thought I’d lead by example and google myself! Click to enlarge the image.
As you can see, I own all the websites that come up for me on the first page – and indeed the second. By the third page other websites start appearing where I have maybe blogged, or been blogged about.
So, how can you take control of your profile online and own the first page(s) on google and make sure your profile gives the right impression to future employers?
There are lots of ways and all of them are fairly simple to do even without a lot of technical knowledge.
Some websites and social media platforms rank better on google than others.
2. Create a LinkedIn Profile – Customise the name LI gives you when you first register
3. Create a free Google+ profile – Google Loves Google of course!
5. Create a personal blog with WordPress – WordPress will rank higher than tumblr for example
Make a start on these recommendations (if you haven’t already) and start filling them with positive content you will be happy for anyone, including potential employers and collaborators. to find out about you!
One of the many benefits of having a positive profile online that reflects your interests and personality is that not only can it help employers check out your skills, they can also see if you could be a good cultural fit, which is just as important in some industries. And don’t forget you can Google employers and their staff too! It works both ways. Are they a cultural fit for you?!
What if there is some content that you don’t want people to find?
Remove what you can control. If someone else has put it there, ask them to remove it. Produce more of your own content under your own name, this should have the effect of pushing the unwanted results down. I’ll blog some hints and tips soon. The good news is that not many people click past the first page! But that’s also the same reason that the first impression you make counts.
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On a related note, you might want to check out my blog post about what your digital footprint says about you.