A new client of mine understood that he needed to pump up his online presence. A Google search for his name yielded a dismal number of relevant results, plus he had a common name and the little that was out there about him was lost in a sea of same-named people.
To win at executive job search in the digital age, he knew that having on-brand evidence online supporting and differentiating his promise of value was critical. Recruiters and hiring decision makers Googling “his name” were assessing him based on what they found.
Think that your online identity doesn’t factor into executive hiring decision-making? See my post Does Your Online Identity Scream “Hire Me”?
My client also understood that blogging was a powerful way to extend his online footprint and build evangelism for his brand and promise of value in the marketplace. But he didn’t enjoy writing and knew he didn’t have the time or inclination to commit to his own blog.
Although I hate to dissuade anyone from starting a blog because I love blogging so much and I know what it can do for executives in job search (see my post Executive Job Search and Blogging: Perfect Together), I know that working your own blog may not be a realistic piece in your personal brand communications plan.
Here are 10 places to build top-landing search results for your name:
Realize that the sequence of search results that you get for your name may not be the same as the results others get for your name. They can vary by location and even from one computer to the next, in the same room!
Create branded, searchable profiles on these strong link-weight sites. Update them as you gain new skills, certifications, achievements, etc., and when your target changes:
Make sure your profile is branded, searchable, and 100% complete. Download my free e-book, Executive Branding and Your LinkedIn Profile: How to Transform Your Executive Brand, Resume, and Career Biography Into a Winning LinkedIn Profile.
Once it gains traction, your LinkedIn profile should land within your top 3-4 search results.
2. Google Profile
One of the nifty things about the search result for your Google Profile – it appears on the search page with your gravatar (tiny photo), if you’ve uploaded a photo with your profile. Very eye-catching!
Hiring professionals run searches on ZoomInfo when they’re filling jobs. Brand up your profile, if one exists. Otherwise create one.
The beauty of a VisualCV is in its interactivity and multi-media features, and you can link to PDFs of your portfolio of personal marketing documents (resume, bio, references, etc.). Practically everything you want people to know about you is housed on one web page.
Create a key word-rich profile (or bio) on these and other social networking sites. Establishing presence here positions you as up-to-date and social media-savvy. Come back and get busy leveraging all that social networks have to offer. Want to follow me on Twitter?
6. Business Week’s Business Exchange
Enables you to save, post, react on and share news in the Business Exchange. Register using your LinkedIn account.
7. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.
Create a profile and write book reviews on relevant publications.
8. Relevant professional organizations that allow you to create a profile.
See Job-Hunt.org’s monster list of over 1,000 national and international Professional Associations and Societies.
Other ways to build your online footprint.
9. Publish white papers and articles on relevant websites.
And check out your professional affiliations and organizations. They would probably love to have you contribute content to their websites.
10. Build a website using the domain “yourname.com”.
Even if you don’t plan to do this, it’s important to claim your name by owning the domain. GoDaddy is a good, inexpensive (about $10/year) place to do this. Your website can be a 4 or 5 page web portfolio of your personal marketing documents (executive resume, career biography, achievement summary, leadership initiatives, etc.)
And a bonus suggestion:
You can still reap much of blogging’s benefits, without committing to maintaining your own, (You knew I had to get blogging in here somewhere!) by:
11. Guest blogging and commenting on relevant blogs.
See my post, Blog Commenting: Build and Brand Your Online Identity and GQ (Google Quotient) and my Job-Hunt.org article, Build Your Personal Brand Online by Guest Blogging.
NOTE: If you don’t have a personal website, include a link to your VisualCV or Google Profile when you guest blog or comment on blogs, so people will be led to the brand-reinforcing information you want them to know about you.