Fortunately, more and more of my c-suite and senior level executive clients are aware of how important it is for them to have a solid online presence, to land a great-fit new gig.
Some of them understand that, when recruiters and hiring managers source and assess talent, they’re more apt to reach out to candidates that have strong online presence. Those candidates are providing better “social proof” of their value, and they present as more up to date with the digital age and the new world of work.
But they often don’t know how to go about building an online footprint. They struggle with how far they’re willing to go with it. And they need help navigating their online reputation management.
I’ve written two previous posts in this series of Executive Job Search FAQs:
Posts still to come:
- Executive Resume FAQs
- Executive Job Search FAQs in general
3 Questions My Clients Often Ask Me About Managing Their Online Reputation
1. I don’t like to put myself “out there”. How do I keep my private life private and still have a good online presence?
This becomes a sticky issue . . . whether or not you need to keep your search confidential because you’re currently employed.
On one hand, you need to have a strong, diverse online presence to be “find-able” by the various people who can help you meet your career goals.
On the other hand, of course you need to be careful about what you put out there. Your information will be prey to nefarious people, as well as legitimate people.
I understand why job seekers confuse controlled online presence-building with haphazard blasting of personal information online.
For strategies to balance that fine line, see my post, The Online Safety and Privacy Dilemma in Executive Job Search.
2. What are the best ways to build my brand online?
More and more of your competitors are working on building online presence, and have embraced LinkedIn, at the very least, as a foundation. Just to keep pace with them, you’ve got to match their efforts. So start with LinkedIn, but don’t stop there.
Think about this. Since so many qualified candidates DO have fully-fleshed out, keyword-rich LinkedIn profiles but not much else online, how much better do you think you’ll look, if search results for “your name” bring up several more web pages with added information that will be useful to people assessing you?
What does it take to build strong online presence? Check out my post, Is Your Online Presence Strong Enough to Compete?
Where are the best places to build your brand online?
Your online brand communications plan should be built around posting relevant content that will demonstrate your subject matter expertise, and include things like:
- Posting articles on LinkedIn’s Pulse network
- Posting LinkedIn network updates
- Joining and participating in LinkedIn Groups
- Commenting on blogs, LinkedIn Pulse and other widely-read online publications, including those for relevant professional associations
- Creating a Google+ About page
- Starting your own website or blogsite
- Writing articles or blog posts for other relevant sites
- Creating a professional Amazon profile (and or other booksellers) and writing reviews of relevant books
- Getting busy on other social networks – Twitter, Facebook, etc.
3. I’ve heard that keywords are important to use in my online profiles. How does it all work?
Recruiters and hiring decision makers search on keywords relevant to the kinds of candidates they’re seeking, such as “Information Technology Executive, Enterprise Business Systems”.
Relevant keywords usually represent your areas of expertise.
The more these and other relevant keywords appear in content about you online (known as Search Engine Optimization or SEO), the more likely you are to be found.
Likewise, the more content that exists about you online that contains those keywords, the more likely you’ll land higher in search results.
More about this in my post, How Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Impacts Executive Job Search.
You can see that Personal SEO is a critical piece in successful job search.
It’s also important to balance Personal SEO with Personal Branding in the content you write about yourself.
Personal SEO is all about relevant keywords and phrases (or “hard” skills).
Personal Branding links those keywords to “softer” skills – the personal attributes and qualities you possess that people rely on you for, and that indicate what you’re like to work with and how you get things done . . . that is, your personality.