Gayle Hallgren-Rezac co-author Work The Pond!
Brand yourself online before potential employers stumble across your web trail of breadcrumbs. By building an online brand for yourself, you can influence what someone would find if they Googled you.
Check your online brand now
Google yourself now. If something comes up, is it good? Or is it the photo of you partying with Lindsay Lohan? When I type in “Gayle Halgren” on Google, I am pleased with what I see. First up, it’s my (very good search engine at BCjobs.ca!) My next Google listing shows that I am a speaker with National Speakers Bureau (also good, since I want gigs!). Then, up comes a link to an award I received a hundred light years ago, but, since it was pretty prestigious, it’s good for my branding. After that, Google delivers a few links to our book and a couple of items on presentations. By page ten, there are links to my comments on other people’s blogs. But, before I get too comfortable I’d better click on “” at the top of the Google page. There are photos of me, our book, Stephen Covey’s book (good company!) and a picture of a dog and also a cat. Go figure. It’s a fact of life: nowadays everyone gets Googled. You can bet that when you are up for a job, your name gets typed into the Google search box. So, the first thing you want to do is avoid a bad online brand. Think about what’s on Facebook or other social networking sites. Do you have a picture that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see on Flickr? You may have heard the story of the school principal who thought he was sharing his vacation photos with close friends, only to have his “in the buff” picture shared with his students. To avoid online brand destroyers, don’t post rants and avoid “dumb and dumber” things that will live on the web forever. And sign up for Google Alerts to monitor your Google presence.
Ideas for building an online brand
To build a positive online brand for yourself, Mary Gooderham, in “Musings That Matter: Blog to a Job”, suggests:
• posting profiles on business networking sites such as Linked In.com
• creating a personal website
• putting your resume online; and
• starting a blog.
Building an online brand for yourself takes a strategy
But with over 75 million blogs out there, it takes a strategy to get noticed. David Perry, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters, says, “[T]he secret to leveraging your blog for job-hunting purposes is to blog on the area you want to become designated as the expert in, and then get people to connect to and read your blog.” Even if you don’t start your own blog, contribute thoughtful and meaningful comments to blogs. Also, do reviews of business books on Amazon and send “letters to the editor” when you have something to contribute. Now is the time to start building the right kind of presence on the web, one that will last throughout your career.
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