It’s very common these days for people to “Google” your name. IT recruiters do this all the time to find out about people’s professional backgrounds. Make sure that you are representing yourself professionally online. Take control of your web presence and you could get recruited for your dream job.
Do damage control first
Google your name and see what comes up. Be sure to check Google images as well. You might be surprised by some of the results. Maybe you have an old Myspace account, or a hi5 account that is linking to some embarrassing photos. Take control of your online presence. You should shut down embarrassing accounts with inappropriate usernames or emails attached to them, take down any unflattering photos of yourself, or at least set them to private. You don’t want recruiters finding reasons not to hire you.
Get found on Google
Getting your name to the top of search engine results is a great way to get found by recruiters. The easiest way to do this is to saturate the first page of Google search results for your name by taking advantage of social networks.
If you have a blog or website that uses your real name, those should come up as one of the search results if someone types in your name. You probably already have a LinkedIn, Facebook, and maybe even a Twitter account. That should give you 3 more spots in the Google search results. If these are not showing up, you can edits the settings for these accounts to publicly display so that they come up in search engines.
Here’s a quick guide to making sure your social media accounts display on Google and other search engines so that recruiters can easily find you online:
On LinkedIn you can manage whether people can see your profile updates, who can see your connections, and who can see your profile photo. To set your profile to public:
- Hover over the top of the page where it says your name
- Click Settings>Profile>Edit Your Public Profile
- Under “Customize Your Public Profile” click “Make My Public Profile Visible To Everyone”
- You can also choose whether your picture, headline, current positions, past positions, education, and additional information are displayed
- Be sure to check off “Additional Information” and “Website” so that your personal portfolio website or blog is displayed
You probably don’t want to use Facebook for professional reasons, so it’s best to keep anything you post to your timeline private.
However, you can display information in your “About” section to everyone. To do this:
- Click About
- Add “Work and Education” and “Living” information, then choose “Public” from the drop down menu above the information you just added
- Add information about your job in the “About You” section. This is a good spot to add a link to your LinkedIn public profile, or your portfolio. That way if a recruiter comes across your Facebook profile when they Google your name, at least they know what you do, where you live, and can now find you on LinkedIn to discover more professional background information, and contact you. Recruiters are good detectives!
Recruiters can and do use Twitter to find candidates, so be sure to include what you do in your profile bio. To do this:
- Click Settings>Profile> and then you can edit your bio to include what you do.
- Add a link to your online portfolio or LinkedIn account by clicking Settings>Portfolio and then editing the “Website” section
If you want your Twitter profile and tweets to come up in Google search or other search engines:
- Click Settings>Account>and then uncheck “Protect My Tweets”
Keywords are your friend
Think about what keywords someone would search to find you for a job, and then include the most important one in all of your social media profiles. For example, if you are a web developer and your main skill set is Java, you should have that listed on your Facebook “About” section, on your Twitter bio section, and of course, on LinkedIn. This keywords should already be in your online portfolio or personal website.
A great place to add your keyword on LinkedIn so you are found for it in searches is to add it into your professional headline. To do this:
- Click Profile>Edit Profile>click “Edit” on the first section of your profile, and then edit the “Professional Headline” section
Be sure to include a link to your online portfolio or blog on all of your personal profiles. Also, be sure to link to all of your other social profiles so people can click them for more information about you. Think of all your social media profiles as funnels leading a recruiter to you. These profiles won’t give them all the information they need, but there should be a link to guide them to your personal website, portfolio or at least to your LinkedIn page if you don’t have either of the others.
Put your best face forward
If you are going to set your profiles to publicly display in search engines, make sure that your profile photo is work-appropriate. It might even be a good idea to use the same photo in each account, at least for as long as you are job searching.
Do you have any other recommendations for getting found on Google?