Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2014 Contents B17
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Like it or not, getting involved with social media
and building your personal brand online have
become essential components of today's job search.
If you're NOT out there - building your online
presence and positioning your unique ROI (Return
on Investment) and good-fit qualities in front of
recruiters and your target employers - consider
yourself invisible to the very people who can help
you achieve your career goals.
Your goal should be to continuously build diverse
online content about yourself, to provide those
assessing you with plenty of information supporting
But always remember, if you're in a confidential
job search, be very careful of your activity on social
media, and any content you post anywhere online.
Don't write or do anything that will "out" your
Here are 10 of the best ways to build your personal
Monitor and Prepare To Build Your Online Pres-
1. Make Self-Googling a Routine Practice
One of the first things people assessing you will
do is Google "your name." Shouldn't you do it,
too, so you'll know what they're finding?
Track how many results come up for you in a
search and what they say about you.
Is someone else with the same name in the top
Are the results about you accurate and consistent
with what you want people to know about you?
Is there anything unsavory about you that is
likely to discredit you and jeopardize the impres-
sion you will make on decision-makers?
If you find "dirt" that you can't take down, start
working to bring positive, on-brand results to
the forefront, pushing negative results down to
the bottom, where they'll be less visible.
Your search results can literally change overnight,
so it's wise to get into the routine
of monitoring results at least once
As you incorporate the suggestions
below, check to see how quickly
your actions yield search results
and where they land in your list
of results. This will help you deter-
mine whether your efforts are on
2. Set up a Google Alerts account
for "Your Name"
This free service lets you know
when people say something about
you online. Once you set up an
account, Google Alerts will send
you an email whenever a search
term you've provided ("your name"
or whatever other words you want)
is published on the Internet.
3. Claim Your Name Online
Purchase the domain name "your-
"johnsmith.com"), or a variation.
Your personal URL is the perfect
address for your website and/or
blog. But even if you don't plan to
launch a website or blog or don't
know what to do with your per-
sonal URL, secure it before some-
one else does.
At some point, consider going live
with the personal domain name
you've purchased and set up a web-
site or, even better, a blog. Establish
a home base for all your career and
job search marketing materials, and
social media activity. Recruiters
and hiring decision makers can
easily gain access to everything
they need to know about you in
one place, with one click.
Embrace Social Media and Build a
Consistently Branded Online Pres-
4. Create a Brand-Charged Email
Along with your contact informa-
tion, include an abbreviated version
of your personal brand statement,
or brand tagline.
Add links to your personal blog,
website/career portfolio, and/or
online social networking profiles
(LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Face-
book, etc.) - only if you're active
on those sites.
Make it easy for people to get to
accurate information about you
5. Get on LinkedIn
With more than 300 million users
and potential viewers of your profile
- most likely including hiring deci-
sion makers at your target com-
panies - LinkedIn is undeniably
the most important social network
for personal branding, job search,
and career management.
In fact, not being there can neg-
atively impact your brand and
search efforts. If recruiters and hir-
ing decision makers don't find you
there, they may never find you.
And lack of a LinkedIn presence
brands you as inept or disinterested
in social media, which is not
acceptable in today's Internet-dri-
ven job search landscape.
At the very least, you need to use
LinkedIn for passive job search and
building your online presence by
creating a brand-reinforcing, fully
complete LinkedIn profile, popu-
lating all the sections that apply
toyou. . .evenifyoudon'ttake
advantage of all the social net-
working features. But that would
6. Get on Google Plus
The overarching value of Google
Plus should be obvious. It's a
Google platform, so your profile is
likely to land high in your Google
Many job seekers are just beginning
to use Google+ to build their
brands, so having a strong "About"
page with keyword-rich, branded
tagline at the top really pushes you
ahead of the crowd.
My strategy for building personal
branding and online visibility for
my clients using a Google+ profile
includes writing biography-type
content (which is more storytelling-
driven than a resume) that includes
somewhat different content from
their LinkedIn profile.
Along with building another search
result for "your name," a Google+
profile provides diverse information
about you, to those assessing you
as a potential employee.
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