Googling Yourself Is Not So Faux Pas

Google YourselfHonest question: Do you ever Google yourself?

I do.  I also think that although it may seem a little vain or self absorbed to look up your online persona, it’s also strategic.  Your online brand can tell prospective employers, prospective mates or plain old anyone a lot about you and you should be proactive about the information that’s both findable and not findable on you.

Job-hunt.org recently shared a post revealing that 68% of the time, hiring managers hired someone based on what they found in their social media search on a candidate’s name.  Corporate Recruiter, Nicole Thomsen of 2tor, Inc. (http://www.2tor.com) had this to say, “To be proactive instead of reactive is key.  In our online world, bad news travels quickly & good news travels slowly; so, the more positive, creative and professionally distinctive content you can put out around your personal brand, sooner, the stronger that brand is from the onset.” If that doesn’t inspire you to put your best foot forward online, I don’t know what will!

Okay, you care about your online brand, but you just found a blog post or article about you from college that doesn’t do you justice – how do you remove it? If you own the site, taking down the material you don’t want shared about yourself is relatively easy – just manage the content.  If you don’t own the site, the process may take a little longer.  You’ll need to contact the site’s webmaster and ask for the content to be removed.   Google actually has a whole page devoted to helping you keep certain personal information out of their search engine.

You’ve removed all of those not so ideal photos of yourself, but how do you optimize your online presence?  Make sure the items you want people to see are actually on the web!  If you want your resume out there, create a free site on About.me (where your resume can live.  There are a ton of free platforms for you to start a website if you don’t already have one and post the important documents you want shared with the world.  Take a look at WordPress or Tumblr to see if either will fit your needs – both are free and offer unique values.  Create social media profiles that have your name in them – I’m talking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Make sure to make your Linkedin profile, “publicly visible.”

So, you’ve done everything right.  You’ve scoured the internet and removed all content that’s less than ideal, you’ve created a site that shares your resume, awesome writing samples, and your personal flair… but you Google your name and you’re not there.  If you have a common name (John Smith) or share a name with a celebrity (Jack Johnson) it’s likely you’ll need to optimize your online assets to rank in Google.  Have you ever heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

It may take a little bit of work, but taking the time to optimize your social media assets will help you rank higher for your name.  Not only should you optimize your social media assets, but once you have, housing them on your website all in one place will help you as well.  One other easy thing is to participate on other blogs by leaving comments on posts and link your name to your website, blog or social media profile. For example: (Sarah Fudin). If you don’t open any links in this entire article, open this one: How to Optimize 7 Popular Social Media Profiles for SEO!  You’ll be able to optimize your Google+ profile, Facebook pages, Twitter profile, LinkedIn profile, YouTube Channels, Biznik professional profile, Quora profile, About.me profile and you’ll be able to check how they’re doing.


Guest Expert:

Sarah Fudin currently works in community relations for the University of Southern California’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which provides aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential online.  Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.

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