Job Search 2.0 has arrived. Recruiters and hiring managers are Googling you and other candidates. What are they finding out about you?
Take a look at my blog post, “Are You Into Self-Googling?”, to get an idea about what this hiring practice means in your job search.
What do the results look like when you search “your name”? If there’s anything about you circulating out there that will discredit you or is inconsistent with your brand, it’s time to dive in and start fixing things.
Conversely, if a search yields little or no results, you’ll need to fix that too.
What kind of online presence do you have?
William Arruda, a personal branding expert and co-author of a book I highly recommend, “Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand”, offers an online identity calculator to help you figure out which of the following 5 profiles describes you:
Digitally disguised: You have no online identity. You’re hidden from those who may be researching you.
Digitally dissed: There is little on the Web about you, and what is there is either negative or brand-inconsistent.
Digitally disastrous: 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.
Digitally dabbling: 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.
Digitally distinct: 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.
Arruda further suggests the following parameters to evaluate the volume of accurate search results you should have:
If you are:
- A professional with 0-5 years’ experience, you should have 5 to 50 accurate search results.
- A professional with 5-10 years’ experience – 50 to 500 results.
- A director-level people manager with 10+ years’ experience, an independent consultant, or a small business owner – 500 to 5,000 results.
- A vice president, acknowledged thought leader, highly regarded consultant, or subject-matter expert – 5,000 to 50,000 results.
- A corporate-level executive at a major company, a highly acclaimed consultant or expert, or a best-selling author – 50,000 to 500,000 results.
- A celebrity, an internationally acclaimed guru, or a politician – more than 500,000 results.
Remember that search results literally change from moment to moment. Make self-Googling a regular practice to keep a close eye on how your results shift. Track which of your efforts are bringing the best results and continue in that direction.
How to build better search results
There are a number of things you need to think about and start doing to move toward online “career distinction.” These 5 past blog posts of mine can help get you going:
Transform Your Branded Executive Resume Into a Powerful, On-Brand LinkedIn Profile
Turn Your Branded Executive Resume and Supporting Documents Into a High-Impact Online Career Portfolio
Boost Your Online Identity By Taking Advantage of Online Social Networking Groups
Build a Blog To Build a Better Network
Hey “not Michael Scott”,
Thanks for reading my blog and for your thoughtful comments.
Don’t you get a kick out of self-Googling? Purposefully building my online presence, I’m constantly surprised (sometimes excited) to see where my name and company/blog names pop up.
I’m curious, in your hiring manager role, how do you respond to personal branding in resumes — especially a stand-alone brand statement in executive resumes? I like to keep an eye and ear to the pipeline. It’s been working really well for my clients. Any thoughts?
Great, now you’ve got me googling MYSELF!
Anyhow, you make a really good point about identity transparency. Once upon a time it was a lot easier to lie on a CV and bluff your way into a job; now, you can pretty much bet the farm that whatever hiring manager sees and likes your resume is going to be punching your name into a search engine.
But, as an occasional hiring manager myself I do think that the user-generated (or web 2.0) revolution is helping rather than hurting industry hiring. Since last year I’ve pretty much done all my hiring through either Linked In (business communication 2.0) or Dayak (recruiting 2.0), or both. I go to the latter, set my fees and the job specs, and as the recruiter-culled candidates come in I punch their stats into the former.
A few candidates have really made an impression on me with their web skills. One guy didn’t get the job right away but he kept me in his Linked In network and would send me pm’s whenever his blog updated. A couple months later I had a vacancy and rather than post the job to Dayak I just gave him a call. The lesson? If you don’t quite have the google results, rss works, too!