If you are job searching or self-employed, chances are potential employers and clients research you online before making a decision about working with you. You should have at least as much information about your online presence as they do. In part one of this two part series, I touched on how to find the information a web search would yield about you (including any negative information or misinformation) and how you might avoid having a negative online presence. Part two will focus on how to highlight positive information online.
The sources of online information which will portray your professionalism are generated, in part, by others. Examples of such content include an article referencing or quoting you, which is written by a colleague or posted through a professional association you belong to, as well as published lists of association members or conference attendees containing your name. Such information can serve you well by highlighting your professional memberships or expertise. However, whether it is generated depends primarily on the person or organization selecting the content. So, how do you increase the likelihood that a search of your name will produce information reinforcing the message that you are the right candidate for the job?
What you write and share on the web can help to support your position as a desirable candidate (vs. giving the potential employer a reason to eliminate you from consideration). Choose what you write (and where you post it!) carefully and assume your potential employer will read it. These tips apply whether or not there is content on the web about you that is less than favorable. However, if search result do bring up anything negative that cannot be removed, it becomes particularly important to ensure links to professional, positive information show up in at least the first few pages of any search of your name. This will require thinking carefully about how and where you post content online. Select appropriate sites that have a high ranking on search engines.
LinkedIn is an excellent example of a site with a high search engine rank and professional content. If you haven’t explored this site already or created a profile on LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to do so now. How LinkedIn works, and why you should consider using it are the subjects of a separate article (several books have also been written about it, including Jason Alba’s excellent book I’m on LinkedIn — Now What???). Read the rest of this article here: http://careerconsultmd.com/Articles.html#anchor_52