Personal Branding: Who Does Google Say You Are?

Even in our digital age, most people have never Googled their own name to see what comes up.

Surveys consistently show, however, that over half of all employers will Google a potential new hire at some point in the hiring process. The results can give them confidence to move forward… or concern that may halt the process.

People often think of what they do online as their “private” life; however, as we all know the internet is not private… and anyone can look up information on anyone they choose.

Do Google Results Help or Hurt Your Job Search?

“Personal Branding” has become a widely discussed topic; to pay no attention could be very foolish in todays’ job market. Consider two questions:

• What does Google reveal about me? And…
• What image do I want to portray?

Think About Your Online Image

Have you thought about your online image as you’ve:

• Written letters to the editor of your local paper, magazines, or blogs?
• Written product impressions or reviews on Amazon or any other eCommerce site?
• Posted pictures on Facebook, Flikr, or other social media sites?
• Discussed politics, music, entertainment in forums, online chats, or through comments?
• Complained about an employer on Glassdoor, or finance sites?
• Used profane language in your online comments or discussions?
• Been offensive in Twitter comments or chats?
• Commented on pornographic images or sites?

While it may be difficult to clean up an old mess, it’s at least important to be aware of what others may find, and proactively address if necessary. A less than professional online reputation can also be minimized by deliberately creating a more productive and helpful new image.

What Does Your “Personal Brand” Show?

Display a knowledgeable, career-focused personal brand by:

• Blogging about topics related to your industry or field
• Commenting positively on other blogs related to your career
• Engaging in industry or field related online forums and chats
• Use a consistent professional picture to become recognizable across many platforms
• Engaging professionally with relevant companies and people on Twitter
• Create consistent profiles on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and other social media sites

The more new items, comments and conversations you post, the more older items will likely be pushed down the rankings… diminishing their impact.

An important way to boost your chances of landing a position: be the same professional person online as the impression you created in an interview. More than anything, recruiters are looking for authenticity!

Be aware of your online image, and be deliberate about creating one that helps you succeed!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at FreshTransition!


About the Author: Harry Urschel is an Executive Recruiter, Job Search Coach and Writer in the Minneapolis area with over 25 years of career development experience. Harry teaches job search courses, leads networking groups and authors a website, “The Wise Job Search” whose articles are used by many publications, schools, and organizations. Harry speaks regularly on job search and career related topics, and he’s been interviewed as a career expert by CNN, ComputerWorld, JobTalkAmerica, multiple books, and other venues. Follow Harry on Twitter!

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