Nowadays, just figuring out where to start your job search can be overwhelming. From career-based websites, to college resources, to newspapers and local outlets, even radio and TV advertisements, employment opportunities can be found everywhere. However, so can information about you. Most hiring managers interested in you are going to see your Google search results, paying special attention to your social media profiles. To influence what Google tells the world about you and help yourself land that elusive job, read on.
1. Google Yourself
The first step is to Google yourself. If your name is common, stick your hometown in your search query, and your current employer if necessary. Your goal is to mimic the process that any typical hiring manager is likely to take when searching for you. Take particular note of what appears on the first page of your results. If there’s anything negative, you’re going to need to post some positive links to eventually push the bad results off the first page.
2. Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
One of the best ways to improve your Google results is to amp up your LinkedIn profile. It’s one of the best professionally oriented social media platforms out there and employers are likely to look at it closely. Include informative notes about your industry, your niche, and your strengths, and consider participating in the “answers” section, where you can further showcase your talents by answering questions posted by other users.
3. Get Involved With Newer Social Media Platforms
The social media realm is expanding by leaps and bounds and it never hurts to broaden your horizons, increasing the potential for hiring managers to see that you’re a well-rounded individual. Google Plus is a rising star and Pinterest and Instagram are excellent visually based platforms, so be sure to use high quality photos when posting to them.
4. Start Your Own Website
To really up the ante on your Google results start your own website. Include your first and last name in the title and make it simple but professional-looking so you can repurpose its content in your social media profiles. Be sure to include all relevant contact information, an “about me” section, and even a FAQ section. Start one for free with the help of a website like Weebly.
5. Clean Up Existing Social Media Profiles
Although you’ve probably heard it before, this bears repeating: Go through all your social media profiles and remove any photos or comments that put you in a compromising light. Remember, what you think is innocent might not come off that way to a hiring manager so always err on the side of caution. It would be a shame to do a lot of work boosting your online brand just to let a pic from an old keg party drag you down.
Once you’ve done everything you can to amplify the positive, it’s time to work on any negative notes about you. Deleting any negative content is going to be tough, unless you contact the website owner directly and get lucky, but you can certainly get that information pushed farther down. Post high quality, positive content on popular portals like LinkedIn and sooner or later the bad press is going to jump to the next page, where HR folks are less likely to prowl.
What can you think of to improve your Google search results?