Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 2nd 2016 Contents B21
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Do you want to increase your chances
to be found by recruiters and the employers
you want to work for? What job seeker
Most recruiters and hiring authorities
source talent by searching relevant keywords
on LinkedIn, Google, and other search
engines, and then assessing the people those
searches reveal by what they find about
If you re in a job search and have no
"online footprint" -- that is, a good number
of positive, solid search results when your
name is Googled -- you may be invisible to
the very people you need to be positioned
in front of.
The better your online reputation, the
better you position yourself online, and the
stronger your presence online, the more
appealing you ll be to these people.
Take a look at your own online footprint
right now. Type your name into a Google
search, and see what you find.
• Do you "own" the first several search
• Or does it take several pages of results
before you get to anything related to you?
• What info will people find about you
when they click on those search results?
• Is it what you need them to know about you
and your potential value to the companies
or organisations you want to work for?
FIVE COMPONENTS OF A
STRONG ONLINE BRAND
You should know, before starting your
job search, which companies or which kind
of companies you re targeting, and what
information about you is relevant to them
and will resonate with them.
Without a clear target, how can you pos-
sibly differentiate your personal brand, ROI
value and best-fit qualities, and create career
marketing communications (online and
offline) that will hit home, attract them and
clearly distinguish you as a good hiring choice?
Keep your brand messaging relevant to your target,
detailing how you can help them solve their current
problems, and position yourself on sites that are rel-
evant to and frequented by them.
Be careful what you post on social networks, or
anywhere online. Continuously monitor your online
presence. Get used to self-Googling regularly (about
once a week) to see what exists on the first several
pages of search results.
If someone has posted something nasty about you,
see about getting it taken down. Adjust what people
will find, whenever possible.
Are you finding any "digital dirt" that may disqualify
you? Do you have the same name as others who have
an online footprint? If so, you may easily be confused
with them. That s bad news for you, if any of them
have a sordid reputation. You ll have to work on
building more positive search results to outdistance
those of the bad guys.
You need a good mix of static profiles/web pages
and vibrant real-time content. A few online profiles
that all contain the same content won t cut it --
change up the information in each one.
• Express your opinions, showcase your expertise
and add value by blogging on your own site, com-
menting on other sites and/or guest blogging on
• Get busy on social networks like Twitter, Google+,
• Contribute to online forums that are open to the
public, LinkedIn Group discussions, LinkedIn Pulse
posts, and your updates.
• Publish white papers on relevant sites.
• Put up a profile and post book reviews on Amazon
and other online booksellers.
Keep working on building more and more search
results for your name and increase your number of
diverse and accurate results on the first few pages.
To build up your volume of search results, focus
on sites with strong "Google juice" (meaning, sites
that Google and other search engines deem authorities
because they re content-rich, have been existence
for a long time, and have a strong following, among
other things), such as -- LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook,
Amazon, and Google itself (Google Plus).
Any activity on strong sites will likely result in
those web pages (with your name on them) landing
towards the top of your list of search results.
You should already have done the back-end work
of defining your personal brand, built around what
will resonate with your target companies.
Express that same personal brand message, across
all communications channels and social media you
decide to use. I don t mean that you should use the
same information over and over. As I mentioned
above, mix it up.
Put yourself in the place of people assessing you
through your online identity and deciding whether
to hire you or do business with you. If your brand
message and focus varies from one real-life setting
to the next or from one social network to the next
or from one website to the next, your target audience
won t clearly see your promise of value to them.
You ll confuse them.
Use the same name or handle across all channels
online, so that you re easy to find and distinguish
Building your brand online takes planning and
effort. It will take time for your hard work to gain
traction and give you the kind of online presence
that will appeal to your target companies. Get started
now, and work on outdistancing your competition!
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