Odds are, you already Googled everyone from your Tinder date to your prospective employer. But did you ever stop to think that they probably Google YOU as well? Tinder aside, 93% of employers said they will search for your social media profiles during the interview process. What does your online presence say about you? It’s time to get it in check.
As a career coach to millenials, I have seen things go south quite quickly. Candidates come to me looking for help because they don’t realize what they’re doing wrong. They have the perfect interviews and referrals, and yet, can’t land a new gig. It turns out, employers were running the other direction once they saw the other side of these candidates on Google. They were looking for someone who fit in with their corporate culture, but instead, found photos of late night mistakes and trash talking tweets. Don’t let that be you.
It’s important that you’re aware of what prospective employers will find online about you, because your digital footprint is a huge part of your personal brand. You can use this to your advantage, though, by developing your own personal brand and making sure that internet searches of your name leave employers with a positive impression of you. Here are five ways to establish a strong personal brand on the Internet.
1. Clean up your online reputation. Google yourself, and if there are things out there you’d rather prospective employers not see, contact the site hosts to see if you can get the information removed. (Yes, you can do that!) Set up Google alerts for your name so that if any new content about you hits the internet, you’ll know right away.
2. Be real. It’s important to be authentic, but don’t embellish or brag. If you’re too boastful through your branding, employers will see right through it and will likely develop a negative impression of you.
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3. Come up with a theme. It’s OK to have a broad one so that you can showcase your uniqueness and diversity, but make sure there’s at least an overarching commonality throughout your branding. If you’re all over the place, prospective employers may doubt your sincerity or your dedication to your field. Buy the URL for your name, if you can, and use it to host an online portfolio.
4. Don’t just make it about you. Personal branding should also demonstrate your contributions to your field as well. Show employers the value you add and how you support your colleagues, whether it’s through a blog or on social media. Make sure to add organizations you volunteer for, as well as any boards you are a part of.
5. Keep your brand current. You’re constantly evolving, so make sure your online presence is as well. Regularly update your professional pages, such as LinkedIn, as well as your other social media sites and blogs. Try to keep the theme of your personal brand consistent and relevant throughout all social channels.
In this day of Internet transparency, it’s all the more important to be in control of the information that’s out there about you. Your online brand should be an accurate reflection of who you are both in and out of the office ; please just leave the party photos out of it. Take updating your digital presence just as seriously as you would updating your resume, and you’ll be on your way to a job that fits in with your personal brand in no time.
Take control and Google yourself ASAP![“Source-forbes”]