When you search your name in Google, what do you see?
I've heard it said that Google is your new resume.
But I think it's bigger than that.
Yes, employers are using Google to get a better sense of job candidates. But some people are using it before networking with you. Companies use it to weed out untrustworthy salesmen. Businesses are using it to better understand their customers.
Having a good presence on Google is important. Did you know that 91% of U.S. employers have searched Google on their job applicant? And did you know 69% of employers have rejected some applicants based upon what they have found? Even more incredibly, did you know 68% of employers have offered a job to an applicant based upon what they found on Google?
So how can you improve what people find out about you on Google?
Remove Inappropriate Content
The first step is to remove inappropriate content that you find online. This includes:
- Bad Grammar or Misspelling
- Lies on Your Resume
- Badmouthing your Employers
- Racism or Prejudice
- Alcohol or Drug Abuse
- Illegal Activities
Be on Social Media
Your social media accounts will be some of the first things that show up on Google. So, make sure to create your accounts. The most important account is LinkedIn. Fill out your LinkedIn profile entirely. Build your connections by linking your email. Start writing a few posts and articles. Don’t worry if you don’t get a lot of likes. The biggest goal is that when someone searches you that they can get a sense of who you are. So be authentic in your posts.
I recommend making your Facebook public. Then be yourself and be professional. This will give people greater confidence that you are a good person that can be trusted. A private Facebook account probably won’t hurt you. But it also won’t help you.
I also recommend creating a Twitter account. It often comes up as one of the top results in Google. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require much energy to post. Plus, the more social media accounts you set up, the fuller the first page on Google becomes when people search your name. The best situation is when the entire first page of Google shows results that are about you.
Share Your Expertise
Consider sharing your expertise on forums, with blog writers, and newspapers. This is a powerful way to build a strong online presence. Find relevant forums online and post on subjects you have expertise in. Reach out to blog writers who are writing about things in your industry. Offer to guest write or contribute to their blog. What neat things have you done or can do in the community? Reach out to local newspapers. They are often excited and looking to write about interesting stories in the community. If they write about something interesting you did that is likely to show up on Google.
The Changing World
The world has changed a lot in the last decade. For better or worse, our lives are far more public than they used to be. People are searching you in Google. So, take some time to make sure what people find is the most accurate representation of you.