I came across an interesting recent article in the Dominion Post highlighting the great importance of managing your image in the age of online permanence. Reality in today’s world is that recruiters will Google to check their prospective employees.
“The embarrassing tweet. The drunken party photos. When it comes to the internet, there are no secrets. If people are searching for you, what they find isn’t necessarily what you want them to see.Google is increasingly becoming your first impression […] but it’s getting increasingly harder to take control of that impression,’ said Patrick Ambron, co-founder of BrandYourself.com, part of the growing online reputation management industry. Whether it’s a new graduate looking for a first job, a single jumping into the online dating world or a business owner stung by negative publicity, almost everyone has some online history they’d like to bury.
And that’s the problem. On the web, it’s virtually impossible to erase anything entirely…It can be very difficult to get things taken down. So instead, you have to focus on telling your story better.
Here’s what to do. Populate yourself. It’s like a positive PR campaign where you want to get yourself on as many online platforms and links as you can: A personal website, LinkedIn and other social media profiles, a YouTube video with your name in the headline. Post some articles, a lecture, a link to something about or by you in writing. ‘The intent is to make those things in the eyes of the search engine more authoritative. Then Google will naturally rank those things higher’, says Michael Zammuto, ReputationChanger.com”
The article goes into details on branding yourself and using DIY tools for those who want to ensure their online reputation stays clean. A recommendation from Scott Eggert, Director of Digital Communications for Merlot Marketing in Sacramento is to set up free Google Alert for your name.