In executive job search, having an online presence matters.
In fact, most every job seeker, at any professional level, should be concerned about and take control of their online identity and personal brand.
What people find — or don’t find — about you when they Google “your name” can impact whether they will contact you, if they’re sourcing candidates like you.
Recruiters and hiring professionals at the companies you’re targeting are likely to be much more receptive to job seekers with the more vibrant, far-reaching online footprint.
Why is this?
→ They want to know that potential leaders of their organizations are savvy with social media and technology.
→ They want to see social proof of all the claims you’ve made in your career marketing materials. The content you post to your LinkedIn profile, for instance, is likely to be truthful. They’ll compare this to the resume you’ve sent them.
→ They want to quickly and easily find relevant, supporting information about you online, to help them determine whether to interview you.
→ Many other top-level executives have solid online presence. You need to do the same, just to keep pace with them.
→ Your social media footprint provides them insight into your passions, interests, thought leadership, communication skill, potential culture-fit, and other valuable information, that fills out the resume you may have sent them.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when managing your online presence while building your personal brand online:
When recruiters and hiring managers source top talent to fulfill their needs, they go right to LinkedIn and Google, and search relevant keywords and phrases. If your content online doesn’t contain the right keywords in the right places, you may not be found by the people who can lead you to a good-fit job.
2. Diverse Content
A few online profiles that all contain the same content won’t cut it – change up the information in each one. And, although static online profiles (like LinkedIn and Google+) and other web pages are very important – especially for being found (see #1 above) – they’re not enough. You need to add vibrant real-time content to the mix.
- Express your opinions, showcase your expertise and add value by blogging on your own site, commenting on other blogs and/or guest blogging on other sites.
- Get busy on social networks like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.
- Contribute to online forums that are open to the public, LinkedIn Group discussions, and LinkedIn Answers.
- Publish white papers on relevant sites.
- Put up a profile and post book reviews on Amazon and other online booksellers.
Make no mistake, when you’re being considered as a candidate, your name will be Googled. You need to be diligent about monitoring search results for “your name” so you’ll know what people are finding about you online.
Do you own the #1 search result, or at least some of the results on the first page? Has some digital dirt wormed its way in? Can you fix it by taking down the information, or asking the poster to take it down?
Keep adding new content to new web pages, refreshing static profiles to align with your changing career needs, and posting real-time content on social media. The more relevant information found about you online, the more your social proof and credibility as a candidate rise.
Given the fragile state of employment today, you could suddenly find yourself in job search. If you’ve done nothing while you were employed to build your online presence, you’ll have a hard time catching up with your competitors who knew enough to keep at it all along.
It takes time for the content you post online to gain traction in search engines. Don’t wait until you’re hit with a layoff to post some slapdash content online. Savvy executives know that jobs are no longer permanent and a strong online presence is no longer optional. They keep working on their online presence, even while they’re employed.
5 Key Elements of a Strong Online Personal Brand
Best of Blogging Your Personal Brand for C-level Executive Jobs
Does Your Online Identity Scream “Hire Me”?
photo by pshutterbug
Pattie Simone says
Thanks so much Meg for your fabulous tips on online reputation management and SEO – I can’t wait to share this with our networks! As a marketer and techpreneur of WomenCentric, a business networking platform dedicated to helping women succeed in business, I find many are still out of the loop about this topic. The fact is that EVERYONE must be savvy about what others are “bumping into” or “stumbling upon” when Googling a person or a brand name. A small investment of your time can be the difference in landing that dream job, referral or project. Strong, keyword-rich, self-authored content in high traffic spaces like LinkedIn is expected. If you’re not there you are raising a red flag.
The more professional spaces you post your credentials – and update regularly – the more you are “seeding” the web with the exact content you want your boss or prospective employer to find. That attention to detail – and knowing the basics about how the Search Engines rank content, will help you open more doors and snag the interview.
So like Meg says – if you regularly post relevant, key-word sensitive content about your skill sets, clients and accomplishments in a variety of professional business networking spaces – you’ll be positioned and ready for that inevitable Google search!
Meg Guiseppi says
Pattie, Thanks very much for your insights and kind words.
It can be difficult to get a handle on what needs to be done to build online presence. Many options are out there. Two that I recommend, along with LinkedIn:
— Set up a Google+ profile and build a branded “About” page there.
— Develop a plan to regularly comment on relevant blogs that have strong “Google juice”.