Being online increasing matters. Why:
- Employers and recruiters are head- hunting online.
- The majority of employers and recruiters Google you during the job selection process.
- Colleagues, clients and business partners use the web as the first place to go for information about you.
- Without an online presence you are effectively a ‘nobody’ (In the US many employers won’t hire people, who don’t have some sort of online presence. While this trend is not so prevalent in Australia, it is increasingly heading this way)
- You can use your online presence such as LinkedIn and website as a place you can refer people, if undertaking a direct job search.
‘Your visibility (among your target audience) is critical to successful career management. Your Google results powerfully influence those seeking to make decisions about you’. – Career Distinction
How to determine your online identity
Online identity is how visible a person is when someone searches for their name on the Internet. Tools to do this:
Google.com – simply go to Google.com, or Bing.com and type or name in quotes, such as “John Smith”.
The number of accurate results you should have from a Google Search:
A professional with 0 – 5 years experience – 5 – 50 accurate results
A professional with 5 – 10 years experience – 50 – 500 accurate results
A director, or senior manager, independent consultant or small business owner – 500 – 5,000
A vice president, highly regarded consultant or subject-matter expert – 5,000 – 50,000
A corporate level executive at a major company, or best selling author – 50,000 – 500,000
A celebrity 500,000 plus
These are figures from which you can gauge how effective you are currently online and suggested by Career Distinction. I personally don’t think you should obsess about the number of results, but whether these results are:
- Relevant (i.e. the majority of the entries are highly relevant and express your personal expertise).
- You appear often on the first 3 pages of the Google Search (as most people don’t look past these initial pages).
- There is nothing where you have been ‘digitally dissed’
- You don’t share the top Google results with someone else (like a adult movie star).
If you currently don’t have any or an effective online presence, your objective over the course of the next few weeks and months is to establish one. Ways to establish an effective online profile:
- Web Portfolio
- Article Writing
- Speaking Engagements
If you have an online presence, but it is not favourable (i.e. negative comment from client, or board of company), then you have been ‘digitally dissed’.
It is important to Google yourself on a regular basis and the more senior you are, the more important this process becomes. Simply set up a Google Alert, using your name.
As you can see, having an online presence can be important and going into the future your digital profile will make or break you.