Google Plus Profile, Personal Branding and Executive Job Search

by Meg Guiseppi on March 4, 2013

Google+ profile and personal branding

For the past 5 or 6 years, I’ve recommended that my c-suite clients create a Google Profile, along with a brand-supporting, keyword rich LinkedIn Profile, to begin establishing their online presence or extend it.

I explained that these two online profiles would form a firm foundation for their Google presence, providing people assessing them with diverse information about them and their personal brand . . . as long as their Google Profile was not a carbon copy of their LinkedIn profile.

If you followed my advice, and posted a Google Profile in the past, that profile is now the “About” page on your Google Plus Profile.

Google launched Google+ in June 2011, in a big attempt to outdistance Facebook, “as a ‘social layer’ consisting of not just a single site, but rather an overarching ‘layer’ which covers many of its online properties.”

A Google+ Profile is now even more powerful than a Google Profile was.

In “10 tips to take advantage of Google+ for SEO“, Cyrus Shepard, Chief Marketer at Placefull, Inc. said:

“It’s no secret. When engineers built Google+, they constructed an SEO juggernaut to dominate search results above all other social platforms. Although Facebook and Twitter are essential to marketing efforts, both restrict Google from accessing much of their data. This limits their SEO effectiveness. Not so with Google+.”

Translation? A Google+ Profile, loaded with all the right relevant keywords, in the right places, can help you:

  • Become highly visible online,
  • Provide further social proof legitimizing the career claims you’ve made about yourself verbally and in your career documents, beyond whatever else exists online about you.
  • More effectively qualify as a good-fit candidate for your target employers, and
  • Out-compete job seekers vying for the jobs you want.

After all, Google+ is a Google product. Doesn’t it make sense that a Google+ Profile will rank high in Google search results for that person’s name?

I’ve been minimally involved with Google+ as a social networking community, slowly building circles and figuring out if it provides enough value for me to become more engaged.

Like so many people, my social media schedule is stretched thin already. I don’t think I can realistically take on another social networking obligation, and do it well.

So far, my only posts on Google+ are the new blog posts I write, which then get picked up and shared by people in my circles, boosting the reach of my posts. As my circles grow, the reach grows. Very good for personal brand-building.

But I am considering what Saman Kouretchian, an online marketing consultant and blogger, said on Social Media Today just a few weeks ago:

“Think about how often you use Google Search, Chrome, Android, Gmail, Google Maps, Docs, YouTube, Gchat, and Calendar, to name a few Google-owned products. Millions of people use these products every day and if Google Plus is integrated into all of these, which it will be soon, then it might seem unnecessary to leave Google for social networking.”

Additionally, follow Mark Traphagen’s advice to set up Google Authorship.

Google will link your original content anywhere on the web to you, as the verified author. This can qualify you to have the photo you’ve posted to your Google+ Profile sit next to the search results for your content, which may also help Google devalue (and ignore) any unauthorized content associated with you.

My advice.

At the very least, it’s time to get on board with a fleshed out, branded Google+ Profile, including a good, professional headshot of you.

Check first to see if Google has already created a Google+ Profile for you, based on your activity with their other products.

Google+ offers great value if simply used as a passive means to expand your online footprint, so that recruiters and hiring decision makers assessing you will find more diverse search results for you.

Then, begin exploring Google+ as a potentially powerful social networking tool.

Complete your profile as follows:

Photo — very important to include one. People connect with your personal brand better and believe content more when it’s accompanied by the author’s photo. They’re more likely to reach out to someone when they can “see” the person. Your photo helps to personalize and humanize your brand-driven content.

Tagline — load it with the relevant keywords and phrases that recruiters and hiring decision makers will search, when sourcing candidates like you.

Introduction — allows plenty of space for your personal brand content and links to other web pages about you. This content should not be identical to your LinkedIn profile. Instead, I recommend creating biography-type content for your Google+ Profile, supporting your value with “brand stories”. Check out my Google+ Profile.

*Bragging Rights — they’ve included “Examples: survived high school, have 3 kids, etc.” This can help give a feel for your personality, but be careful what you put here, if anything.

Occupation — Using relevant keywords, synopsize the kind of work you do and your value to your target employers.

Employment — For consistency and social proof, include the same jobs you’ve included in your LinkedIn profile.

Education — obviously important information to include.

*Places lived — may be important if you’ve lived in diverse locations, to support your global experience and expertise.

*Home (phone) – how people can reach you at home

*Work (phone) – how people can reach you at work

*Relationship — Seeing anyone?

*Looking for — Who are you looking for?

*Birthday — On what day do you celebrate your birthday?

Gender — can help distinguish you from others with your name.

Other names — If people may look for you online by other names (nickname, common misspellings of your name) than your Google+ Profile name, include them here, to help Google associate you correctly with any and all content about you online.

Profile Discovery – very important to check the box here, so your profile is visible in search to everyone.

Other profiles – provide links to your other social networking profiles, if you’re active (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Contributor to — provide links to any blogs or websites you contribute content to. Helps with Google Authorship.

Links — provide links to other web pages containing more relevant information about you (articles, blog posts, white pages, news reports, awards, etc.)

Completing all these areas will make your profile 100% complete, but the ones I’ve placed an asterisk by are those I feel either aren’t so important to include, or may be a bad idea to include, for security reasons.

It’s up to you, if you want to provide this info. I NEVER give out my date of birth on any online community or social network. And I don’t want to share my relationship status with the world.

If you’d rather not include a phone number, but want to be easily contacted, you can add your email address. Scroll down the right-hand sidebar to the section headed “Complete your profile”. Hover over the left/right arrows and click until you get to “Add contact info”, where you can provide your email.

You can also add more photos to your profile — of you or anything else —and videos.

Related posts:

Online Presence and Personal Brand Management: 5 Things to Remember

Self-Google or Doom Your Executive Job Search

7 Reasons Not To Be a Personal Brand Copycat

photo by Magnet 4 Marketing dot Net

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