There’s no debating it: your online reputation will impact your success. Hiring managers and executive recruiters use Google to make decisions about you. In fact, a study commissioned by Microsoft indicates that 79% of U.S. hiring managers and recruiters reviewed online information about job applicants and 70% of them rejected candidates based on what they found.
Not long ago, when someone Googled you, they were making a decision about you based on two factors: Volume and Relevance. Volume speaks to how much content there is on the web about you—the more there is, the more people believe you have something to say. Relevance speaks to how consistent the content is with who you say you are. It answers the question, “Is this person relevant and compelling?” When we designed the online ID calculator we built an algorithm that measures these two important factors of online reputation.
Recently, thanks to changes in Google, the huge rush of people to get their brands online, and the way we search for people on the Web, we added two more factors: Purity and Diversity.
Today, almost everyone has some presence on the Web. There was a time when you Googled “William Arruda” (me) and all the results were about me. I am fortunate to have a fairly unique name (thanks, Dad!). But now there’s a body builder, a cop, and a teacher who share my name and show up in Google search results. You have likely seem the same when you egosurf.
The diversity measure was added to acknowledge the evolution from text-based search to blended search. You have probably noticed that when you perform a Google search, the results include the standard written content (links to blogs, websites, and articles, etc.) and along with that there are images, video, and real-time content. No longer is it enough to comment on a few blog posts; you need to ensure that your results are multi-media.
You can learn more about the four measures of online reputation in this brief video.
Three Steps to Enhancing Your Online Reputation:
Step 1. Go to www.onlineidcalculator.com and measure your online brand. You will get results related to your current volume, relevance, purity and diversity.
Step 2. Determine which of the four measures needs the greatest attention (you may have a couple that could use support).
Step 3. Depending on which areas needs the most attention, apply the tips below:
Volume Enhancers: If you need more results that are about you, set up social networking profiles on many sites by editing your current branded bio and establishing accounts at naymz, ziki, ziggs, etc. Remember to include your professional headshot, too.
Relevance Enhancers: To enhance relevance, remove content that is unflattering or inconsistent with how you want to be known, then write an article about your area of expertise and post it to an appropriate online portal. Find blogs related to your area of thought-leadership; subscribe and comment when you have something valuable to contribute. Review books related to your area of expertise at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
Purity Enhancers: Sign up for an account at Vizibility. Their services allow you to remove all Google content that is not about you and create a “Search Me” button that you can include in your email signature, your LinkedIn Profile, etc. Also, remember to include keywords related to your area of expertise (mine would be personal branding, for example) in everything you post to the Web. People are sophisticated searchers. When they see results that look like they include content about several different people, they will enter a keyword that they associate with you.
Diversity Enhancers: Sign up for a Flickr account and post relevant images, get a videoBIO and post it to YouTube,Vimeo, Blip.tv, and Viddler. If you don’t already have one, set up your Google profile.
Managing your personal brand on the Web is a critical part of the job search process. Ensure you have a stellar online reputation so you stand out from others, get interviewed, and get hired.
Dubbed the Personal Branding Guru by Entrepreneur magazine, William Arruda is the founder of Reach Personal Branding, author of the bestselling book, Career Distinction, and creator of www.personalbranding.tv, the world's largest multi-media web site focused exclusively on personal branding. You can learn more about him at www.williamarruda.com.