Have you ever typed your name into Google? When you do, is it really you that comes up?
It's quickly becoming a well-known fact that HR personnel and hiring managers at many companies will type job applicants' names into Google before deciding who to interview. What comes up when your name is fed to Google could determine whether or not you get a job.
But even if you have your own company or are currently employed, branding yourself online is a free way of making yourself more marketable. For an entrepreneur it makes it easier for people looking for your good or service to find you. For someone currently employed it can help you establish yourself as an expert on what you do, which can help you get a raise or, perhaps even find another, better paying job.
You can improve your Google-ability in three easy steps. Here's How:
1. Join social networking sites. If you're already on them great; if not, join. And not just sites like Facebook and twitter, which, while they will come up on Google, are not really designed to present the user in a professional light. You should also join LinkedIn and post your resume. Sites like Meetup.com can show your interests, even smaller, niche social media sites like brazencareerist.com will help. Find sites with message boards where you can create a user profile and post content. The key is, when you do that, use your real name as your user name. That way, those posts or at least that site will come up when someone types your name into Google.
2. Comment on major blogs. Find a blog on the New York Times' website, and comment on the issues that seem relevant to your career – media, if your interested in publishing; small business if you're an entrepreneur; finance if you want to be a broker. Include your name in your posts (sign them, or, if you can create a "user name," use your real name).
3. Google yourself – and when you do, go through the results. Click on the results you want to come up higher in the results list (that is, the results that are actually you). One way that Google determines search result rankings (the order that results are in) is by what links have been clicked on in the past when someone has searched that term. So, on a regular basis (monthly, or even weekly) type your name into Google and click on the results that are actually you and that you want to come up first.
Congratulations, you now know how to improve your Google-ability.