“In a(n)… ExecuNet survey about reputation management and Internet presence, 86 percent of executive recruiters say they routinely scour online sources for information that goes beyond a candidate’s resume. Nearly 7-in-10 search firm consultants say that executive job candidates’ prospects improve when positive information is found online.” (2008 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report from ExecuNet)
A logical place for recruiters to search for information online about candidates is Google. Google is one of the largest search engines on the Internet.
When recruiters search for you, what will they see?
If you are not present on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, recruiters will never see you at all. And that means you could miss out on job opportunities as a result. According to MSNBC, “These days, small and midsize companies aren’t even posting jobs, instead going to sites like LinkedIn in search of their ideal candidate.” (“Using LinkedIn to Maximize Your Job Search,” MSNBC.com, March 12, 2009)
A Google search will show results for your name from these different social media sites, but of course if you haven’t completed a profile, you are invisible to recruiters.
You may be present on different social media sites, but if the information there is negative, you are in a worse position than if there were no information at all. A sloppy profile filled with typos is negative press for you. And if you have responded with a comment to a video or article from a periodical with profanity or other negative information, this can show up on Google as well and hurt your professional image.
If you have been intentional about your online presence, what Google says about you can give recruiters a reason to take a second look at you.
Here are some pointers on what you can do to enhance your online presence:
Google yourself to see what comes up. You need to see what recruiters will see when they search for you. That way you can make any needed adjustments to your online presence.
Take charge of your ZoomInfo profile. ZoomInfo is a site that automatically collects data about people online from different sources on the Internet. Sometimes there will be erroneous information on ZoomInfo under your name because the site confused you with someone else with the same name. Also, there may be information that is omitted about you that should be included. You can go to ZoomInfo for free and claim your name and correct any mistakes there may be. You can also post your picture to your profile if you choose to.
Create profiles on social media sites for visibility. LinkedIn is the most popular site for professionals, and there are hundreds of thousands of recruiters on LinkedIn searching for candidates. Make sure your profile is complete and it represents you well.
If you follow these tips you will have Google singing your praises.
Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed., CPRW is a career coach and a certified professional resume writer. Ms. Palmer is the founder of Call to Career, a career coaching firm that assists people in finding their niche or calling in life as well as finding new employment in a difficult economy.