On-Line Identity Management

Everyone is on the Internet, if they mean to be or not. 

Have you Googled your name?  Have you gone to Pipl and inserted your name? What you find can be quite shocking.

It has been estimated that 75% of all job candidates have their background searched on-line prior to being hired. How you choose to control and manage this information can have a profound impact on getting hired.  We’ve all read the stories about pictures on Facebook impacting a hiring decision.  The message is clear, everyone needs to be concerned about their on-line identity. Folks in career transition need to pay extra attention and establish a centralized control mechanism with a personal website.

Here is what we recommend:

  1. Do a thorough review of your name through the search engines in particular Google, Bing and Yahoo.  Record where your name is being found and where it is not being found.  Each major search engine allows for the establishment of a basic profile.  It is a good idea to join, supply enough information to be registered, but then link back to a personal website for detailed information. (See item 6 below)
  2. Visit Zoom Info and Spoke to see how they’ve profiled you and make the appropriate edits to their system.
  3. Review your own social networking accounts to make sure your messaging is appropriate for a hiring manager to see.  If there is anything on these sites that you wouldn’t show your parents, your grandparents and your children, it probably should be removed.
  4. Join business on-line networking sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo or Xing.  LinkedIn is fast becoming the dominant leader and thus if you only wish to establish one account, LinkedIn is the logical choice.  However, do not immediately dismiss the others.  Millions of people belong to well run sites that are not named LinkedIn.
  5. Join industry specific trade groups associations and communities.  Be sure to complete accurate profiles that offer just enough professional information to demonstrate your specialties.
  6. Establish a personal website with a dedicate URL web address.  Through this strategy you can join many social and business networks, but limit the external information while linking everyone back to  your  personal website.  This will allow you to centralize and easily update your information in one location.  We recommend your personal website also have the ability to password protect sections for more confidential personal information.
  7. Be aware of the hidden costs of submitting resumes to job sites.  Upon submission, most job sites scan resumes, create a profile of you and then resell this data multiple times.  It can have high utility for some job seekers, but for many, it is simply adding to the external data that is floating around regarding you.  It also may profile you for a specific job where your interests, experience and skill set qualify you for multiple different disciplines and opportunities.
  8. Demonstrating expertise is one of the best ways to shape your on-line identity.  This can be achieved by participating in on-line forums on topics that demonstrate your specialty, submitting articles to relevant sites & publications or establishing your own blog.

If you believe the statistic that half the people searched on-line are eliminated from a candidate selection process based on what is found (or not found), it is clearly time to begin managing your on-line identity.  This is a critical element of your career branding.


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