You’ve got your executive job search sewn up. You’re ready to land your next great gig.
You’ve targeted employers or organizations that are a mutual good fit, and you’ll work hard to network your way towards their hiring decision makers.
You’ve spent hours creating a “kitchen sink” resume which contains all of your top achievements, skills and qualifications, and the benefits you’ve brought to past employers.
You’ve defined and differentiated your unique value (i.e., your personal brand) over your competitors to these employers you’re targeting in your executive job search.
After sifting through all the information you’ve compiled about your target employers and yourself, you’ve honed down the most important information and crafted your targeted resume, tweaking it even further to specifically position yourself for each target employer.
Great! You’re ready to move forward and get interviews with the companies you want to work for, right?
Nope. Before you start networking in earnest, you need to build your brand online, so that the executive recruiters and hiring decision makers at your target companies will find qualifying information about you online, when they’re assessing and vetting candidates.
Experience has shown me that many executive job seekers are hesitant to put themselves “out there”.
But in the new world of job search, every job seeker needs an online footprint, just to keep pace with their competitors.
Those who work on extending that online footprint, beyond the expected LinkedIn profile, by actively increasing the number of meaningful search results for “their name”, will stand out and be more attractive to the people they need to impress.
Get ideas for building your online presence in my post, 5 Key Elements of a Strong Online Personal Brand.
And use Google.
Get super-friendly with, and leverage the tools Google offers to build search results for you and your personal brand, and to accelerate your job search.
Here are a few Google-wise ways to help you:
Set up Google Alerts.
With a Google Alerts account, you’ll be emailed links to the highest-ranked latest news and information published on the Web relevant to the names and keywords you have chosen as Alerts.
Along with setting up Alerts for your own name (to track what people will find when they Google your name), set up Alerts for the following:
- Names of your target companies.
- Names of key decision makers at your target companies.
- The job title you’re seeking, with industry.
- Names of subject matter experts in your niche.
- Names of any people whose radar you want to get on.
Use Google search for industry and company research.
Google the names of people you’re considering connecting with or those you’ll be interviewed by, to learn about them and pick up some personal touchpoints to break the ice.
Google the companies you’re targeting and their top-tier executives for market intelligence and due diligence.
How many search results come up for “your name”? As you’re building more web pages associated with your name, keep an eye on your Google presence. Has any digital dirt crept in? If so, deal with it quickly, as best as you can.
Rely on the Google Dictionary.
Fumbling with a word in a critical email to someone important, that you have to send right away? Quickly type the word into a Google search, to see if you’ve misspelled it and to get synonyms that may work better.
Still not sold on getting Google to know your brand better by building a strong online presence? Well, you can forego all that extra work and keep your identity hidden from the Internet, but that could mean a protracted job search.
It’s your choice.