Recently I was invited to participate in a Career Day to help prepare students as they entered the workforce. There were recruiters from companies conducting mock interviews, doing résumé reviews, and a wonderful organization, Save a Suit, outfitting students with new professional attire. My role was to check their online identities, and coach them on how to create high visibility and build positive reputations.
Thankfully, and maybe a little surprisingly, nothing that could potentially stall new careers was revealed when Googling the students — no “digital dirt” or “digital deal-breakers.” What I found primarily fell into these categories:
- Facebook pages where privacy was set to “public” instead of “friends.” Even if there is nothing to hide, it’s a good practice to limit those who can see your wall and pictures.
- No online references at all. When a recruiter has two good résumés in hand, the candidate who has positive online information has a better chance: mentions or photos that are evidence of community service/volunteer work; contributions to online professional discussions demonstrate your communication skills and knowledge level; official roles in local/business groups indicate leadership ability, etc.
- Positive results — either accidental or deliberate. One student who proudly showed me all his highly visible mentions and properly keyword-ed profiles caused me to remark that he would be easily found when company recruiters searched for candidates in his specialty. “Recruiters? I’m going to be one of those talking heads on CNN,” he corrected me.
Heed these same guidelines as you engage the online community, either for a job or to grow your business or to connect with friends. Comment on blogs – (You can start with this post!!) participate in the discussions on LinkedIn. Becoming known for what you know; will increase your profile so your name comes up in that Google search by the headhunter, hiring manager or that long lost boyfriend!!!
“All business is now personal,” said David Armano, executive vice president of global innovation and integration at Edelman Digital, at the World Business Forum. He calls this ability for people to socially connect via technology the “third revolution,” and it’s a professional imperative to this well. So Have you Googled yourself lately?
Marben Bland is an accomplished speaker, writer, and thought leader focused on three interconnected areas:
- Social Media Branding increasing sales & awareness by creating lasting impressions
- Recruiting finding world class talent for leading business and non profits
- Job Coaching providing solid solutions for finding a job
Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org