Make it easy for recruiters and hiring decision makers to find you online.
Google Quotient is your visibility or rank on Google and other search engines — the number of search results associated with “your name”. The more accurate, on-brand search results for you, the more likely you’ll be visible to the very people you need to be directly in front of.
I’m working with a Senior Vice President/Legal Counsel for Boards of Directors who is looking at a career transition early next year. Before we began working together, I Googled her name, as I usually do with prospective clients, and found very little about her online. The few search results I did find didn’t provide any compelling information.
We talked about the importance of having web presence so that people can find the information about her she wants them to find. But she’s resistant to losing her privacy and leery of exposing personal information. Her hesitancy is certainly understandable, but in the new world of executive job search, having a strong online footprint is critical.
As we’re working together, I hope to convince her to at least transform the resume we’re working on into her branded LinkedIn profile, an essential for any executive, especially in job search.
Even if she doesn’t get busy leveraging all that LinkedIn has to offer, her profile will be a valuable search result for her name, and should land on the first page of results for her. Download my free e-book Executive Branding and Your LinkedIn Profile: How to Transform Your Executive Brand, Resume, and Career Biography Into a Winning LinkedIn Profile.
Here are some other places to set the foundation to build on your GQ and own at least page one of search results for “your name”.
If you have your own website or blog, you’re way ahead of the game. But if you don’t and if you want to add more juice to your own blogging efforts:
♦ Create a Google Profile with your branded resume and career biography. One of the nifty things about the search result for your Google Profile – it appears on the search page with your gravatar (tiny photo), if you’ve uploaded a photo with your profile. Very eye-catching! See Google Profiles Powers Up Your Online Personal Brand Identity.
♦ Create a VisualCV with your resume, bio, multi-media, and interactivity. See A VisualCV Belongs in Your Personal Brand Toolkit.
♦ Set up full profiles on other social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and others. Come back to them and get active when you can.
Comment on Blogs
One of my favorite strategies in my own GQ-building toolkit is commenting on blogs relevant to my niche, especially those that have good link weight.
Google loves blogs. Your participation on blogs that Google loves will result in powerful search results for your name. Blog commenting, when done well, has a huge ROI for building visibility and credibility for your personal brand and niche expertise, with relatively little investment of your time.
Tips to do it well:
♦ Find the right blogs for commenting – those your target audience is writing or reading. The more relevant Google ranks the blogs you comment on, the higher up in the queue your comments will land in your search results. Check Technorati and Alltop. Try Googling industry experts and relevant keyword phrases to find blogs. For those interested in Venture Capital blogs, see 100+ Top Global Venture Capital Blogs.
♦ Set up Google Alerts for relevant key word phrases, industry terms, company names, industry leaders’ names, subject matter experts’ names, etc. Google will email you when a blog post or anything else is published online with those words. You’ll find out quickly when something new shows up. See Why Google Alerts Is One of My Favorite Personal Branding Tools.
♦ Sign up for RSS feeds and/or email subscriptions to relevant blogs, so you’ll know when they publish new articles.
♦ Look at the blogrolls of your favorite blogs for others you may want to add to your list.
Leverage blog comments
♦ You MUST fill in a website or web page with your comment.
Don’t leave this blank. The URL you include will be hyperlinked to your name in the comment and lead people to all the brand-reinforcing info you need them to know about you.
If you don’t have a blog or website, put in a link to your VisualCV, Google Profile, or online portfolio. You can use a link to your LinkedIn profile, but people may not be able to view the entire profile. If you have a blog or website, the backlink from a site with good link weight boosts your site’s relevance in Google’s eyes.
♦ Write comments with substance – more than just telling the blogger what a great post it is.
Choose a piece of the post to address that will allow you to contribute your own take on the blogger’s viewpoint or subject matter. Bring up a point relative to the topic that the blogger didn’t mention. Add to the conversation while positioning yourself as a subject matter expert.
♦ Try to be a first-responder.
Your comment will stay at the top of all comments that follow it. More people are likely to read your comment and click on your hyperlinked name to find out more about you. Respond quickly with a blog comment when you get a Google Alert for a relevant blog post.
♦ Think twice before you hit “submit comment”.
Whatever you have written will be out there in the blogosphere forever. Be sure your comments won’t negatively impact your brand reputation.
♦ For the long term, develop a manageable strategy for routine blog commenting on as many blogs as you can handle.
Think about it. Commenting on the right blogs is almost like being a guest blogger on them. It’s an opportunity to be found on blogs you know your target audience is reading, and, piggybacking off the website’s own strong GQ, has the added benefit of boosting your GQ with a valuable search result that should land within the first several pages of results.
Everybody wins with good blog commenting. Bloggers love the attention and well-written comments that drive the conversation. You’ll love your ever-expanding search results. You’ll improve your writing skill. You’ll make valuable connections with the blogger, other readers, and (hopefully) hiring decision makers.
Another bonus – The very fact that you routinely comment on blogs positions you as someone who is social media savvy and stays current with their areas of expertise. Your target audience will notice.
Related series of blog posts:
Best of Online Brand Identity and Social Media
Meg Guiseppi says
Thanks for commenting, Harry. Always nice to hear from you.
You’re right. For anyone at the senior executive level, there’s just no getting around the fact that you must have a solid online presence. Along with making yourself visible to recruiters and hiring decision makers sourcing candidates like you, you can be sure that, if these people have your name and are considering you, they’re going to Google “your name” before talking to you. They’d better be able to find the right information about you.
Keep up the great work on your blog, too.
Harry Urschel says
As usual, Meg provides sound advice for setting yourself apart in your job search. Particularly if you are seeking a senior professional role, the likelihood of getting ‘Googled’ is high. What they find will either help you or hurt you in the consideration process.
Meg gives you good ways to make sure the image you portray online is what you want. Many people neglect the importance of this, but it’s the factor that often tips the scales toward or away a particular candidate.