Have you ever googled your name? Did you like what you found? Unfortunately, many people would be surprised to find indecent pictures or comments tied to a name. This is in fact what has happened to thousands of internet users around the world.
In this day and age, it is crucial for a person to keep a polished reputation to contribute to their brand. Whatever kind of brand you choose to have, you must keep in mind it is showcased 24/7 to current and future employers thanks to the easy access of the internet. According to Career Expert Joshua Waldman, the latest survey claims that 81 percent of American employers Google candidates. Does this shock you in any way that a company would want to know more about a candidate by looking at what kind of pictures, comments, groups and/or professional work they have done? I am not one bit surprised!
However, before you start panicking on what kind of pictures of your last night out are roaming through the internet on sites like Facebook and Twitter, you should read these helpful hints on how to get started on redefining your brand. According to the Traditional SEO (search engine optimization):
- Google your name and notice how many times the real you comes up on first page, and on the succeeding three pages.
- The more times your name shows up on highly reputable websites, the higher it will rank on the results page.
- In order to knock down the stuff you don’t want, you have to build the stuff you do want (do not become a “Where’s Waldo”).
- Collect a list of professional portfolio items that you can share and post them on the appropriate sites. For example, if you have developed PowerPoint presentations, wrote articles or have any videos of you doing something amazing, then load them onto a personal website with your name all over it.
- Now, link as many of these shared portfolio items together — link your professional blog to your LinkedIn, link your articles to your Twitter and so on.
- Don’t expect results right away, sometimes this can take several months depending on how many other search results you are trying to displace. Be patient and stay consistent in your efforts.
To emphasize the importance of these steps once you’ve settled into a new job, continue monitoring your Web reputation by setting up a Google Alert for your name. This option is simple and beneficial to take the time to build up a positive Web identity.
“Go ahead and build that content now, before you need it,” says Andy Beal, the chief executive of Trackur, a social media monitoring tool. “Give that content time to percolate and move its way around the Web.” Just keep in mind your Web identity could make or break you.
What tips do you have for creating a personal, positive and professional brand online? Let us know in the comments below.