What will recruiters, hiring decision makers, and anyone else find when they Google “your name”? Will they find no results for you, or very few, or worse yet, results that discredit you?
If you’re invisible or in trouble online, you’ve got some e-branding work to do. In the world of executive job search 2.0, you and your brand value need to be visible, available, and accurate online.
I recently used the Reach Branding Club’s Online Identity Calculator for a digital check-up. It’s a nifty little tool to assess how strong your online presence is.
Although I ego-surf regularly to monitor my online identity, I wanted to be sure my hard work building a brand-solid online footprint was having the impact I thought it was.
William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson, Reach Personal Branding founders, broke out 5 possible profiles in their book Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand:
You have no online identity. You’re hidden from those who may be researching you.
There is little on the Web about you, and what is there is either negative or brand-inconsistent.
You have plenty of search results, but they have little relevance to what you want to express about yourself. There may also be results for someone else who shares your name.
There are some on-brand results for you. Even though there aren’t many results, the information about you is relevant and on-brand. From here, you can easily move to the next level.
There are lots of results about you and most, if not all, reinforce your brand – the right message about you is out there. This is nirvana in the world of online identity. But don’t think your work is done, there’s always room for improvement.
My results showed I made it to the top. After taking the test, I got this pat on the back:
“Congratulations. You are digitally distinct! This is the nirvana of online identity. A search of your name yields lots of results about you, and most, if not all, reinforce your unique personal brand. Keep up the good work, and remember that your Google results can change as fast as the weather in New England. So, regularly monitor your online identity. That way, if something negative, such as an anonymous ad hominem attack on your character on a blog, crops up, you can address it quickly, before it gets out of hand.”
For the quiz, they have you Google “your name” (in quotes) to note your total number of search results and how many accurate, on-brand results come up on the first several pages.
If you’ve got about 5 minutes, take this fun, free test yourself and see how your Google presence stacks up.
Need some ideas to build your online identity and position your brand value?
→ For some quick fixes, take a look at my post, 3 Tactics to Put Your C-Level Executive Resume to Work Building Your Online Brand Identity.
→ For a deeper, more long term action plan, read The 10 Best (Mostly Free) Ways to Google Up, Expand Your Online Network, and Nurture Your Personal eBrand.