I recently met with a friend and the question comes up....What would I do if I were laid off today?
For most of us...the job search begins. Hopefully you have a strong network of friends and colleagues that can help you find opportunities that match your skill set. But, no matter how many people you know and how well connected they are most of the time an online search for you is going to take place.
So the obvious thing is to do a search on your name and see what comes up. You would be amazed how many people have never done this.
A quick search of my name on the major search engines confirm that I am easy to find and someone researching me, my experience and my interests will have a pretty easy time of it.
Many people are afraid to do this search for fear of one question - What if i find negative results when I search for my name?
First off - don't panic. We have all been there - a client is unhappy with our product or service, an ex-employee or business partner thinks they got the shaft and flames you online, etc. It is too easy and too anonymous to not happen all the time. If you are a good person and try to do the best job you can there is way more good stuff about you than bad stuff. So the key is for you to take control of your brand and make sure the good stuff is showcased appropriately.
Some Things You Can Do To Take Control of Your Online Brand
Some pretty easy things
- Take ownership of your name in major social media. Even if you are not active make sure to secure your username/handle in the major social sites.
- Try to have some activity in the largest social media platforms.
- Buy your domain names
- Kick it up a notch by linking these to online profiles like about.me, visualcv.com, google profile, gravatar, etc.
Some advanced things
- Start YourName.com and blog regularly
- Start a podcast
- Start a YouTube channel
Bringing this back full circle - if your job search started today would you rather have someone decide if you are right for the job over your resume and one job interview or the years of great content and value you have brought your industry that is well documented online and easily found due to your personal branding efforts? That is one question that should be easy for everyone to answer.
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