This is part one of a four post series. Over the next four weeks, Jay Buerck will outline how to effectively build your online reputation as a job seeker.
By Jay Buerck
You've worked so hard to craft the perfect resume, you know what not to wear to an interview, and you've probably worked on your interview skills. But let's talk a moment about the possible hurdle to you even receiving an interview, your online reputation.
Today, over 70% of hiring managers will at least Google your name and do a little research about the owner of the resume before them. What returns could make or break your career, but this doesn't have to be a game of Russian roulette.
There are many inexpensive ways to help protect your reputation online and some of them you already use.
Using Your Name on Social Media websites
Many of you already use social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. These are great places to create clean content about you but they can also be the foundation for your reputation management strategy.
Facebook allows you to create a vanity URL in which you would most likely use some variation of your name. It's astounding how few people actually use this but it is pretty easy to set up.
Simply to go the Settings of your Facebook account and under General Account Settings you will see Username. You can enter in your name or a nickname. Many organizations and individuals capitalize on this easy to use reputation management tool.
Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are also heavy hitters on the Social Media scene that would be worth creating a profile and using your name in the URL.
You might also consider setting up a YouTube channel, perhaps creating videos about yourself and what you can provide a hiring company. This is not only a great Reputation Management tool but also a great way to set you apart from the countless resumes the hiring manager is sifting through.
Purchasing and Creating YourName.com
An exact domain for your name is the best option you can have in your fight to protect your online reputation. Domains are not very expensive and you can find cheap hosting as well but the expense of setting up a resume site shouldn't deter you from being proactive.
You can easily install a Content Management System like WordPress, and quickly seed this with content about yourself, perhaps your resume and links to your Social Media Profiles and videos.
A little bit of SEO, such as Your Name in the Title and prominently across the page and you should be good to go.
Linking to this page inside your Social Media profiles is also a good move to help give your new site some links.
Monitoring Your Name and Reputation Management Efforts
Once you've done all this hard work with protecting your online reputation, it's smart to use free monitoring systems to learn if any new content is created and published about you.
Google Alerts are an easy and free way to monitor your name for new found works in the Search Engine. You can sign up using your Google Account and set up the keyword such as Your Name, and also the frequency with which you will be sent notifications.
You will then be sent an email if any new content is discovered and is now showing up in Google for searches surrounding the given keyword.
You've now been given the tools and strategies necessary to protect your online reputation and control the conversation about you. Hiring managers and the world will now be given the true glimpse into who you are and the benefit you can provide to their organization.
Now all you'll have to worry about is whether or not to send a follow-up to your job interview by email or through written communication.
Jay Buerck is the COO of an Online Reputation Management company and has worked as an online marketing specialist for over 8 years including stints with 3 Inc. 500 Award Companies. You can find more great tips and strategies by following him on Twitter (@jaybuerck).