In today’s job market, personal branding is the name of the game. Not only are companies spending time — and lots of money— managing and cultivating their brand profile but individuals are carving out niches for themselves as professional brands of their own.
Whether it’s one’s presence on the Web or one’s persona and look, all these elements make up key components to the brand that is you. If you haven’t started thinking of yourself as a brand, a great place to start is by doing a Google search of your own name to see what already exists and what needs to be tweaked. No matter how incognito you’d like to be, your personal information can be accessible with the click of a mouse, from those Facebook updates and photos to your resident location to your dating profiles.
Since many hiring managers and human resource professionals check up on candidates and employees via the Internet — especially their social media profiles — it’s vital to know what story is being told about you via the Web.
So, take a moment to Google yourself. You may be surprised. If you see things you don’t like or maybe things you wouldn’t like to show up first, experts have advised updating your social media profile privacy settings, tweaking your profile details or tweeting more relevant messages that include hash tags that you want your personal brand to be linked to. Though in many cases, Tweets and Facebook posts can be deleted but won’t totally disappear from the Web, you can also delete accounts that may be unused, unsavory or just plain outdated. Update Website photos and links, and try contacting unrelated sites to have personal data hidden or excluded.
Also, be sure your resume is SEO-friendly, and find ways to push down more dated or not-so-professional bits about on the Web by publishing a professional blog, Facebook fan page or professional bio site of your own. Be aware of the information you share on the Internet and what has your name attached to it, such as comments, e-mails, forum posts, tagged photos, and log-in information.
Take charge of your Web presence so that you can present the best “brand you” possible and have no worries when it comes to getting that new big job opportunity.