The Online Reputation Checklist
You have seven seconds to make a first impression, and your time starts the moment your name is typed into a search bar. To put this in perspective, 1 Billion names are searched in Google every day and 77% of job recruiters are required to do a Google pre-screen before hiring you. That means, like it or not, you’ve been Googled at some point -by an employer, client or even a first date.
This new step in the hiring process can spell trouble for applicants, but follow our checklist below and you can turn this threat into a huge opportunity!
What do you find? Most students fall into one of three troubling categories that our checklist will remedy:
- Low-ranking content: What good is your LinkedIn profile or personal website if potential employers cant see it? Many people work hard to create a positive online presence, but when you Google their name, none of it shows up. This makes employers think that you are inexperienced or unimpressive, you’ve just missed a huge opportunity to stand out in a very crowded job market.
- No content at all: If you have nothing about you on the web, employers will assume that you’re irrelevant and inexperienced. Continue with the checklist to quickly create positive, visible results.
- Negative Content: An unnoticed tagged photo, a post by a disgruntled ex, or even an impulsive 4 a.m. tweet can spell disaster for your online reputation, and your job search. If you’re in this category, you have something that you need to Remove From Google right away. That requires taking some more drastic measures than the basics we outline in this post, so we recommend the tactics outlined in the article: “Remove from Google.”
Buy Your Domain Name:
This is a crucial first step because a domain name is the first thing that Google considers when it ranks search results. Purchasing from services like Godaddy or Register.com is a cheap and easy way to own your domain, and for around $9.99 a year its well worth the investment. If someone else already has your name, try using your middle initial or purchasing a .net or .org (the two best ranking extensions behind “.com”)
Create a Personal Website:
A personal website or blog is the central hub for your entire online reputation. This is the perfect place to paint a picture of yourself that tells so much more than the generic bullet points on your resume. At BrandYourself we crunched the data on our 150,000+ users and found that the following site builders rank highest, so your best off starting with these:
Create Professional Networking Profiles
You probably already use social networks, but you probably don’t know that certain social networks rank higher than others in search results. Here are the top ranking social networks in order, even if you aren’t going to be active on these sites, you should definitely create an account so that someone else doesn’t get your name first:
Register with High-Ranking Directories:
Services like BigSight and LookupPage are the “yellow pages” of the Internet. They will help those Googling you find you more easily because your results will rank higher, and they only take a few seconds to set up. (IMPORTANT: be sure to link from these directories to your most relevant content online such as your personal website.)
Optimize All of Your Online Profiles:
By following this checklist you can ensure you exist in all the right places online, and sometimes thats enough. However, often times these profiles wont show up on the first page without a little Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you aren’t familiar with SEO, or just dont have the time to optimize every piece of information about you online, our online reputation management tool at BrandYourself.com will walk you through the whole process.