Question – a prospective employer has just reviewed your resume and has decided to bring you in for an interview. What do they do after reviewing your resume, but before calling you for the interview?
If you answered, “Try to find everything they can about you from the internet” then you are right!
It is pretty well known these days that an employer will Google your name before bringing you in. And maybe at this point you’ve built a fort knox of security around your social profiles. But like any good reputation management campaign, you have to show positive results for 10 slots; and at most Facebook is only helping you with one or two. So what can you do to have Google work for you? How can you make a prospective employer Googling your name be a good thing?
The Usual Suspects
First, get yourself on the major social networks; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Obviously you now need to be wary of your actions there. For Facebook you should take heed of privacy settings, for Twitter you need to conduct yourself in a positive manner (if your history on the site betrays you, start a new account), and LinkedIn should be easy.
For all of these networks make sure that your full name is added as appropriate; no goofy aliases in the “name” field. The power of these sites should move them to the top of your results page in no time.
A great asset to have in your Google results is a bio page on a popular blog. At first, this may seem like a daunting task, but blogs in your industry are always looking for guest content. Bloggers love great content, and more often than not, they are offered sub-par content laden with ulterior motives of self-promotion. If you can write interesting, on-topic, and earnest articles, bloggers will love to publish it.
You can get started by making a list of blogs that you read or blogs that you find that are related to your industry. Contact these bloggers, ask them if they are looking for guest content, give a little bio of where you are coming from, and pitch them a few article ideas.
Once you get the green light to write for them ask if they have an “About” or “Authors” page that you could be featured on.
Remember to use your full real name and depending on the popularity of the blog, your bio page and potentially an article of yours will appear in your Google results.
If you know your way around web design or blogging platforms you can fill some of the results with your creations.
On the production side, if your career choice has anything to do with the web, make a website for yourself! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just some simple HTML with the homepage title tag having your full name will get noticed by the search engines. Here is an example I put together earlier this year:
If you aren’t skilled in the ways of the web, there are a number of great sites out there willing to do the work for you like Square Space.
In addition to this you can start a personal blog. A quick word of warning however: this is not your diary. But a blog that has a handful of articles you wrote about the industry you are in can not only appear in your Google results, but can give prospective employers a taste of your writing skills.
Okay, I’ll make this one quick. We do our best here at Resume Bucket to help employers find candidates; and this includes search engine optimization. So don’t forget to upload a resume at our site, we’ll do our best to take up one of those Google results for you, and with the result being your resume, you are just re-enforcing your employment qualifications. We even have a free resume builder to do all the work of building a resume site for you.
That should get you started on taking control of the first page. Of course, there are those employers who will take the time to see the second page of Google results.
Have you taken any of the above steps in your job hunt? How did it work out? Have you tried other methods that also worked? Let us know!