By Meg Guiseppi
Do you know what kind of information people are finding out about you online? Do you care? Do you purposefully build your online presence to send the right message? Do you regularly self-Google? Do you know what that is?.If you answered no to any of these questions, you're probably not aware of (or you're ignoring) what an important factor your online reputation is in job search and overall career management. Having no online presence or the wrong kind of presence can make or break your job search efforts.
Since Google is by far the most widely used search engine (over Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, etc.), "Googling" has become the representative term for searching the Web to learn about someone or something.
You are very likely being Googled by prospective employers and clients, business associates, recruiters, and various people determining whether to connect or do business with you. Surveys find that most recruiters and hiring managers routinely run searches to pre-screen, weed out, and eliminate candidates based on what they find.
[Read Defensive Googling for more information.]
Savvy job seekers pay close attention to personal branding in social media and their online integrity, investing efforts to increase their Web presence and cultivate the right online impression of themselves. If you're not doing so, you can't compete with those who take advantage of these latest job search trends.
As powerful as a great resume, a strong online presence is a potent approach to networking and tapping into the hidden job market. Your stellar online footprint will not only boost your credibility, it can accelerate job search and land you where you want to be . . . faster.
Personal branding guru and co-author of the book "Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand," William Arruda provides an online identity calculator and offers these 5 profiles to help evaluate your online identity when you type and enter "your name" in quotes (example, "john smith") into your browser or a Google search:
As a basic guideline, Arruda suggests that a professional with 5-10 years' experience should have 50-500 accurate search results; a director-level people manager should have 500-5,000 results; and a corporate-level executive at a major company should have 50,000+ results.
[Read "Top 10 Best-Practices to Build Your Online Brand and Your Online Identity" for more information.]
Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert and 20+ year careers industry veteran, has earned 10 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Social Branding Analyst – LinkedIn Profile Strategist, and Certified Executive Resume Master. Meg is the author of "23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land." Connect with Meg at ExecutiveCareerBrand.com for c-suite personal branding and executive job search help and on Twitter (@MegGuiseppi). And, you may also download Meg's free ebook - Job-Hunt Guide to Smart Personal Branding with LinkedIn.