In truth, the only thing you have going for you is your reputation. With the advent of social media, you could already have a reputation online without even knowing it if you’re not taking charge of your online presence.
- Own Your Name — If you can, buy your domain name with yourname.com. If you have a more common name you may need to include your middle name, initials, city (assuming you don’t want to move), profession or something else, but find a way to own your name as close to your own name as possible.
- Start a Hub for Your Content — Using your domain name, start a website or blog using something like WordPress.org’s self-hosted WordPress. Use this as the hub for all the information about you, as well as all the content you want to share over the Internet.
- Use Social Media — Open social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or any others that you feel are important. The way to know if it’s important is if your target audience is there, if people who could hire you are there, if people who could connect you to someone important are there; you need to be there too. Don’t just start an account, use it.
- Fill Out Profiles Completely — No matter where you are online, be it Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, be sure to fill out your profiles completely and professionally. Remember that people who want to hire you are looking at these profiles. They are looking to be sure you’re consistent, you’re honest, and you are who you say you are.
- Use Professional Looking Photos — Try to avoid the picture of you drinking a giant “Long Island Iced Tea” with a drunk look on your face. While these things are fun, if you’re a job seeker, this is not how you want your future employer to view you.
- Be a Resource for Others — While you’re searching for a job, you might as well become a resource for others. Perhaps you’re not the right person for a job you interviewed for, but you know someone who is. Offer the recommendation. Maybe you know something about a subject that you feel is important to share. Write a blog post about it and share it across your social media accounts.
- Set up a Google Alert — It’s important to know what is being said about you. Set up a Google Alert with your name, as well as your industry, and anything else you might find of interest so that you can monitor your online reputation easily.
- Assume Nothing is Private — Use the privacy settings offered on various social media networks, but assume that these can be removed at anytime and that nothing you say or do on the net is private. Be careful about getting into political debates, or controversial issues that could be detrimental to your getting the dream job that you want.
If something unfortunate does turn up in your research about you online, stay calm and simply seek to bury it with new content. You can create a new story about yourself by blogging, updating social media, and even asking responsible parties to delete certain unflattering things. The important thing is to keep on top of it.
Now be honest: is the resume and cover letter you’ve been submitting for jobs getting you noticed? Are you receiving invitations to interview? If you answered “no,” we should talk. Contact me by phone: 1-866-562-0850 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for a NO COST, NO OBLIGATION 15-minute consultation.