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Why You Should Google Yourself to Monitor Your Online Brand

Your Weekly Career Booster

If you’re not managing your personal branding strategy, you could hurt your chances of landing your dream job. [TWEET]

These days, it's not enough to have a great resume and cover letter. Employers also want to investigate your online brand before offering you the job. In fact, a study by Jobvite found that 93 percent of recruiters will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision.

If you’re not managing and optimizing your personal branding strategy, you could unknowingly hurt your chances of landing your dream job. Today, Google yourself, as it appears on your resume, to see what employers will find when they search for you. Once you’ve taken a look at the results, ask yourself the following questions:

Which of my social media profiles are part of my “professional brand?”

Make a list of every social media profile you’ve ever created and decide which ones you’d like to associate with your professional brand. In other words, identify which of your profiles you want employers to find when they Google you. For these sites, check to make sure they’re telling a consistent story about your work history and education. If you’re actively searching for a job, consider uploading a copy of your resume to the account, if given the option.

If there are other accounts you’d like to keep for personal use, a smart step in your personal branding strategy is to increase the security settings so that only your close friends and family can find and access them.

Am l consistently representing my name online and on paper?

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to use Lawrence or Larry or if you like to include your middle initial as part of your professional brand. However you decide to represent your name on your resume, make sure your professional social media profiles follow suit.

Also, consider changing the name on your personal accounts to a nickname or your first and middle name so employers won’t connect them with your professional brand when they Google you.

Did I forget to add any noteworthy information to my professional online profiles?

Most recruiters say that a positive online presence can influence a hiring decision. Some great job tips include boosting your social media profiles by adding examples of written or design work (if applicable) and sharing details about your volunteer activities and relevant professional association memberships. Post news about current events that are relevant to your field to demonstrate that you’re keeping a pulse on your industry. And last but not least, continue growing your network of contacts. Employers are on the lookout for candidates who have mutual connections with current employees and other people that they trust.

Are my personal social media accounts tarnishing my online brand?

According to Jobvite’s survey, 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered a candidate based on their social profile, with 61 percent of those reconsiderations being negative.

Optimize your personal branding strategy by removing vulgar or inappropriate comments or status updates you’ve posted about your boss, colleagues, or those with whom you interviewed. Nobody wants to hire someone who’s bashing others all the time. Also, avoid dropping f-bombs and other four-letter words on your professional accounts. 61 percent of employers reacted negatively to job seekers who used profanity in their social media posts.

Will recruiters find anything else online that I need to be prepared to handle?

If you unearth some negative results when your Google yourself, try to contact the website and see if you can get the mention of your name taken down. You can also attempt to push these less than flattering mentions farther down the page of results by creating new content in the form of a blog or personal website, a member profile for your professional association’s directory, or an additional professionally-branded account such with sites like About.Me or Google Plus.

If you aren’t able to remove or downplay the damaging results, be prepared to talk about the situation, should you get asked about it during an interview.

Google yourself on a monthly basis to actively monitor and manage your online presence. In addition, set up a Google News Alert for your name to help keep an eye on your professional brand.

Click on the following link to download a copy of my free personal branding checklist.

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!

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Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!