Online Reputation Management for Job Seekers

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Learn the difference between privacy (good) and anonymity (bad), plus how to build a strong reputation online as a defense as well as an offense in your job search

Learn the difference between privacy (good) and anonymity (bad), plus how to build a strong reputation online as a defense as well as an offense in your job search

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  • Dick is the author of “What Color Is Your Parachute” and he understands the employment marketplace as well as anyone in the world. Google IS the new resume, and that means – for all of us, job hunting or not – managing our online reputations, making sure that, as much as possible, good stuff shows up in Google is critical.
  • These are my corollaries to Dick’s statement. IF Google doesn’t know who you are, you really are in trouble. When an employer posts a job on Job-Hunt, before I allow it to be visible to the world, I Google the employer’s name. If I don’t find anything, or if I find only job postings, I strongly suspect the employer is bogus. This is the key reason we need to pay attention to - and attempt to manage - our online visibility, what I’m calling our online reputations. We MAY still have some privacy left, but we have no anonymity left. So, what happens in Vegas (or in college or on vacation or at the company party), stays on the Web in various forms forever. If you don’t believe me, check out archive.org.
  • How many of you Google something you’re thinking about buying? A place you’re thinking about visiting? A person you are meeting for the first time? How many of you Google a potential employer? How many of you think you’ve been Googled by a potential employer? How many of you have Googled yourself recently? How many of you have Google Alerts set up on your name?
  • Just like every other shopper, employers Google job seekers? Is this really surprising to anyone when you think about it? Making a “bad hire” is a career limiting move for the hiring manager and the HR person, and a bad hire in a key spot can cause serious damage to the employer. So, they research the person they are thinking of hiring. The natural thing to do, if you think about it… And only 20% of employers research “sometimes,” “rarely,” or not at all. TWENTY PERCENT!
  • Job seekers, on the other hand, haven’t quite caught on to this situation. As you can see, 65% of them are not very concerned or not concerned at all about the possible impact of their online reputation on their job search.
  • I think this slide speaks for itself.
  • And, this is the UPSIDE to your online visibility. 86% of employers saw a positive impact from the results of their research!
  • This is the true story of what happened to a colleague of mine. It was a mystery, although it shouldn’t have been…
  • AFTER 4 months of NOTHING, they finally Googled him, and this is what they found…
  • Once they figured out what the problem was, it was surprisingly easy to fix. They researched and found a “clean” version of his name. Applied it in all the appropriate places, and then he got calls in for interviews. Not sure if he has landed yet, but at least he gets up to bat now.
  • So, how do you begin to manage your online reputation? These are the 10 steps that I recommend. First, find out what’s out there. About you and about people Google shows as having the same or a very similar name.
  • Grabbing your name as a domain name is very important, but FIRST you need to see what versions of your name are available as .com domain names. Using GoDaddy.com, research domain names. GoDaddy is a cheap place to buy domain names.
  • Then, research the name versions that are available until you find a unique name that is “clean” – no “digital dirt” associated with it. And, for most people, no one more famous - or infamous - with the same name. Looking into the future, it seems to me that we are headed into a time when we’ll all need to have names that are as unique as possible, like actors in the Screen Actors Guild or authors like David Meerman Scott. There are probably thousands of men named “David Scott” or “Jim Jones” – but when we hear “David Meerman Scott” or “James Earl Jones” we know immediately which David Scott or Jim Jones is being referenced. The first time I saw the name “David Meerman Scott,” I thought it was kind of pretentious, but, after reading his book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” I realized that he was smart, implementing his own advice. Google him. He’s local, if you don’t know him, and very savvy. There are thousands of women named “Susan Joyce” – including 1 in my husband’s family. A Susan Joyce writes kids books. Another is an actress. My online brand has been important to me for a while, so I’ve differentiated myself for several years as “Susan P. Joyce.” Pick a reasonable variation of your name, playing with middle initials or middle names, changing the order – “S Patricia Joyce” for example.
  • 4 - Once you have figured out which domain names are available and appropriate, and which ones are “clean” of digital dirt, pick the one you like the best, and register the domain. 5 - THEN, like our job seeker with the unfortunate name earlier, implement that name as your “official name” across the Internet. Establish it as your “brand name.”
  • To protect your brand name, you want to grab all the vanity URL’s in the biggest venues. For most of these it’s pretty easy to do. * With LinkedIn, just edit your profile and then edit your URL. * With Google, set your URL (at the bottom of the Profile page). * With Twitter, your “username” creates your twitter.com/you or the @you. We’ll talk more about Twitter usernames shortly. * Facebook is a bit more complicated (as usual), but also doable.
  • This is the new reality. You need to spend time participating enough in a few social media venues to have presence and credibility. I think of these as running my own broadcasting service – radio station, tv station, newspaper – for “my audience” providing what will interest and inform THEM. Think about, respect, protect, and market YOUR brand through social media No one can cover all of the thousands of social media venues, at least not without a lot of help. In the future software may help resolve this, but be careful of adding all your Tweets to your Facebook Wall and your LinkedIn Status. This is not something that only active job seekers need to worry about, this is something we all need to pay attention to, even when we are happily employed. Stay active to protect your name and market yourself as a desirable employee.
  • - PROFILES The profiles must be kept reasonably up to date. When you are employed, you can slack off a bit (but not much!). Focus on 2 or 3 - more IF you have the time and energy, but don’t spend too much time on the computer! 9 - ADWORDS Sign up for Google AdWords, and bid on your name (multiple versions if possible and appropriate) You only pay IF someone searches on your name - AND - Sees YOUR ad - AND - Clicks on your ad Chances are slim that you’ll spend more than $5 a month. You can set a daily limit on spending, and if your are getting too many clicks, change the wording in your ads or the words you are bidding on (your name). You might also want to bid on other keywords like “CFO resume” – or whatever is appropriate for you and unique enough that you won’t run up a big bill. 10 - BLOGS – Can be VERY effective! More about them in a few minutes…
  • I published a new article on Job-Hunt this week, written by Laura Labovich a job search coach in New York and former recruiter for AOL and Disney. She’s interviewing Fortune 500 recruiters. For this month’s article, Laura interviewed 2 recruiters of senior level people for Western Union, and I found it very illuminating! * Chris – the VP and SVP recruiter for WU is a LinkedIn “open networker” which means he will connect with anyone and everyone. Reaching out to him through LinkedIn gets positive attention from him. * Julie – the recruiter for “shared staff services” like legal, HR, IT, communications, etc. uses LinkedIn “substantially” (but none of the other social media except Plaxo) * Julie strongly recommended that people participate in appropriate industry groups and the Answers section. * WU posts jobs on LinkedIn groups. * Julie strongly recommended that people participate in appropriate industry groups and the Answers section. MORE information about using LinkedIn in the Resources at the end.
  • The more connections you have, the larger your network, out 2 “degrees from your primary connections. I have 247 connections, but my “network” is 5.5million, so any “people search” I do includes 5.5M members. They don’t get you unlimited space, so use every bit of space you get, particularly including the Summary section. * Studies have shown that people relate better to profiles with “faces” so add that photo to yours. * Use the SUMMARY section! You have around 2,000 characters of space to use in that section. Take advantage of it! * Post at least weekly status updates of what you are doing. * Pull in your blog posts, if you have a blog. * Add non-confidential, professional documents you have created to the LinkedIn Applications. More about the Professional Headlines next…
  • PROFESSIONAL HEADLINE: This is critical! This is what follows your name everywhere your name appears on Twitter, including in search results, Group discussions, etc. “ Unemployed” is temporary! Not your “profession.” If you don’t want to stay in the profession, don’t include it in your headline. Translate your job title into language the rest of the world understands - e.g. “junior officer” in the Army
  • You’ll need to establish a Google account for this, but it provides tons of space and, ultimately we hope, excellent visibility. * Paste in your resume, with as many RELEVANT details as you can find, so your Profile can be included in the search results on any of those term. * Link to all your other Profiles * Link to anything else you have available online that supports your professional image. And, it SHOULD be visible at the bottom of the first page of search results on your name.
  • Be sure to include your photo, preferably the one you are using on LinkedIn so people who see both will immediately know they are about the same person.
  • Twitter usernames ARE changeable, in the future, assuming that the name you want next is still available. But, I don’t recommend changing usernames if you can help it. Think about the username – you have 15 positions to use. The only punctuation you can use is the underscore. * Keywords for you & your next job * Marketing appeal * Easy or intuitive to spell * Easy to remember e.g. MarketingNinja (14) , BostonBranding (14), PHP_HotShot (11), RetailMBACPA (12) , MJSmithCPA (10), LinkedInLeader (14), MJSmithConsults (15), etc. Include your photo (the LinkedIn and Google Profile photo) and complete the bio.
  • In general, you won’t get many followers if you don’t Tweet and if your Twitter BIO is blank. To get started and build a “Following” of people who have direct access to your Tweets – Do some Tweeting – ON TOPIC for you – If you want a job in IT, Tweet about IT topics and news If you want a job in marketing, Tweet about marketing news and topics Do NOT Tweet about breakfast, lunch, the dog, the kids, your hot date tonite. No limit to the number of Twitter accounts you can have, so if your hobby is photography and you want to Tweet with the photography “community” – set up a Twitter account for that. But, keep the hobby account separate from your job search account.
  • I follow over 18,000 people and TweetDeck helps me do it by organizing them into columns based on groupings (like “business news” and “career pros”) or search results like #jobsearch. Follow your industry thought leaders. Set up searches on your topics (e.g. Advertising or social media or whatever interest you).
  • Blogs are how Huffington got started, and Scobble, and Mashable, and Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog, etc. WordPress is the free, open source platform that most large volume bloggers use. Your Web hosting company probably hosts WordPress blogs at no additional charge (or minimal). Google’s Blogger also provides free blog hosting. Biggest payoff is having it hosted on your own domain name. But, a lot of blogs get started and die.
  • Write good ORIGINAL content (search engines do NOT like duplicate content). Do NOT “borrow” someone else’s content – Google will eventually alert them and the DMCA will require their hosting company to talk your blog off line if it is infringing. To become very popular, blogs need to be promoted – Twitter is a great way to promote your blog, BTW. With good traffic (at least 5,000 visitors a month) come advertisers. You can get started with Google AdSense (where AdWords get displayed) and CommissionJunction.com. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger makes over $1M/year. Companies do buy blogs and other popular Websites with sufficient traffic and good domain names.
  • You can’t possibly do all of these, but here are some more options. More are available, and more will be invented soon.
  • For many people, lessons learned in working social media will pay off on the job, and people are definitely finding social media-related jobs TODAY. I’ve hired someone as a consultant to help me with Facebook, and I’m not alone. People are getting well-known in their fields for this (@ComcastCares for example). So, what you learn now may also help you in your career. But, then I’m a firm believer in life-long learning.

Transcript

  • 1. Online Reputation Management
    • Unlocking a
    • Successful
    • Job Search
    • Susan P. Joyce Job-Hunt.org
    • WIND South, July 29, 2010
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Online Reputation Management
    • “ Google is the new resume.”
    • Richard N. Bolles, Nov. 2009
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 3. Online Reputation Management
    • If Google doesn’t know who you are, you’re in trouble.
    • However -
    • What happens in Vegas, stays in --- Google, Bing, Facebook, YouTube…
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 4. Online Reputation Management
    • Agenda:
    • Online Reputation Impact
    • Your Online Reputation :
      • 1 - 10 Steps to a Stronger Online Reputation
      • 2 - 3+ Primary Reputation Venues
      • 3 - How to Monitor Your Online Reputation
      • 4 - 6 Ways to Bury “Digital Dirt”
    • Resources
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 5. Online Reputation Impact
    • Employers:
    • 44% - “ always ” research candidates online
    • 35% - research “ most of the time ”
    • 9% - research “sometimes”
    • 5% - research “rarely”
    • 6% - never research
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. * Source: Microsoft-funded research reported in Dec, 2009.
  • 6. Online Reputation Impact © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Job seekers:
    • 11% - are “very concerned” about their online reputations
    • 18% - are “somewhat concerned”
    • 28% - are “not very concerned”
    • 37% - are “not concerned at all”
    * Source: Microsoft-funded research reported in Dec, 2009.
  • 7. The Online Reputation Mismatch © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Employers:
    • Almost 80% of employers conduct online research always or most of the time.
    • Around 30 % of consumers are at least somewhat concerned about their online reputations.
    • Consumers:
    * Source: Microsoft-funded research reported in Dec, 2009.
  • 8. And the Missed Opportunities
    • 48% of employers saw the positive impact “to a great extent”
    • 38 % saw a positive impact “to some extent”
    • 86% of employers saw positive impact
    • 10% saw “a little” impact
    • 1% saw “no impact at all”
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved. * Source: Microsoft-funded research reported in Dec, 2009.
  • 9. Reputation Management Case
    • For example:
    • Highly-qualified job seeker.
    • Professionally-done résumé.
    • Submitted to dozens of appropriate opportunities.
    • No response. Not one. In 4 months.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 10. Reputation Management Case
    • Google “vanity” search found:
    • Person with exactly the same name involved in a US Supreme Court obscenity case.
    • Another person with exactly the same name was a disbarred attorney in the same state.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 11. Reputation Management Case
    • Reputation repair:
    • Chose a “clean” version of his name.
    • Updated:
      • Résumé
      • LinkedIn Profile.
      • Google Profile.
    • Interview invitations from new submissions.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 12. 1: 10 Steps to a Stronger Reputation
    • 1. Google yourself.
      • Are you at the top of the 1 st page? the 5 th page?
        • How many of the results on the first page are about you?
        • How many of the top 50 results are about you?
        • How many of the results are about others?
        • Any bad stuff there (digital dirt or a doppelganger)?
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 13. 1: 10 Steps to a Stronger Reputation
    • 2. On GoDaddy, research the variations of your name available as [yourname] .com :
      • Skip the .net, etc. if someone else owns the .com
      • Domain registration is ~ $10/year at GoDaddy.com
      • Website NOT required, but perfect for your blog.
      • Cool email address: [you]@[yourname].com
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 14. 1: 10 Steps to a Stronger Reputation
    • 3. Pick a unique, clean name.
    • (E.g., “David Meerman Scott” & “James Earl Jones”)
      • Choose a variation you can live with for a long time.
      • “ James” vs. “Jim” or “Sue” vs. “Susan”
      • Add a middle name or middle initial
      • This is your “brand name” – it could be the name
      • you’ve always used (if clean) or a new version.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 15. 1: 10 Steps to a Stronger Reputation
    • 4. Purchase the clean, unique name as a [yourname].com domain name.
    • 5. Implement the name consistently.
      • Social media profiles
      • Your resume
      • Your professional email
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 16. 1: 10 Steps to a Stronger Reputation
    • 6. Grab all the “vanity URL’s” for your name.
      • Linkedin.com/in/yourname
      • Google.com/profiles/yourname
      • Facebook.com/yourname
      • Twitter.com/yourname
      • Optional: yourname.blogspot.com
      • Optional: yourname.name (domain)
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 17.
    • 7. Participate meaningfully in social media.
      • Contribute at least 3 to 5 times a week
      • Limit your venues to the manageable
      • Stay on-message
      • Stay positive (don’t burn bridges)
      • View reputation management as a long-term activity
    1: 10 Steps to a Stronger Reputation © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 18. 1: 10 Steps to a Stronger Reputation
    • 8. Keep profiles updated.
      • Focus on 2 or 3 venues
      • Be detailed
    • 9. Buy Google AdWords ads for your name.
      • Not expensive for most people
    • 10. Blog weekly (or more), IF you have time, ideas, energy, & skills.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 19. 2: Venues - LinkedIn Is # 1
    • Job seekers MUST have a LinkedIn Profile:
      • 80% of recruiters are using social media
      • 95% of that 80% use LinkedIn
    • Often top Google search result on your name
    • Not a popularity contest, but… the bigger your network the wider the reach of your free search.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 20. 2: Venues - LinkedIn Profile
    • Be here or be invisible :
    • Do a public, not private, profile
    • 100% complete (photo + 3 recommendations)
    • Make your email address visible
    • Update & participate daily
    • Positive future-focused Personal Headline
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 21. LinkedIn Professional Headlines
    • 120 characters for marketing & SEO:
      • Environmental, Health & Safety Professional - Available "immediately" for a full-time job in the Chicago area! (95)
      • Strategic and Product Marketing Leader : Market Assessments, Competitive Positioning, Go-to-Market, Launch. (107)
      • Bestselling Career Author, Career Coach, Motivational Career Speaker / Career & Job Coach Trainer Who Transforms Lives! (119!)
      • Unemployed (10 useless letters)
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 22. 2: Venues - Google Profile is # 2
    • Free!
    • Google!
    • Visible to all (caution!)
    • Google.com/profiles /you
    • Unlimited space (vs. LinkedIn)
    • Unlimited visibility (vs. LinkedIn & Facebook)
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 23. 2: Venues - Your Google Profile
    • Login to your Google account.
    • Type http://www.google.com/profiles into the browser’s location bar
    • Complete the form:
      • Include all the information relevant to your job search.
      • Add a photo.
      • Verify your email address.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 24. 2: Venues - Twitter Is # 3
    • Choose your username carefully - @username
    • Complete the Bio! 160 characters
      • Link to your best URL
      • Don’t leave the header blank
      • Add marketing with your name or username
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 25. 2: Venues - Twitter Power
    • NOT a popularity contest!
    • Participate carefully, on-topic for you
      • Share good information.
      • Don’t expect many Followers until you have done some Tweets.
      • Retweet good stuff generously.
      • Follow accounts that interest you.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 26. 2: Venues - More Twitter Power
    • Use a desktop tool like TweetDeck to organize your Tweetstream
      • Twitter Lists
      • Twitter searches e.g. #jobsearch #jobhunting
    • Find:
      • Employers Tweet job postings
      • Job boards Tweet job postings
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 27. 2: Venues - Blogs
    • Blogs are effective, powerful, long-lasting brand builders.
    • Good blogs are a lot of work.
    • 200+ million blogs exist, est. 15 million are “active”
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 28. 2: Venues - More About Blogs
    • A blog can become a business.
    • With sufficient traffic, they can make $$$.
    • With sufficient revenue, they become a marketable asset.
    • It ain’t easy or common, but it is do-able.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 29. 2: More Reputation Venues
    • LinkedIn
    • Google Profile
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Amazon Profile
    • YouTube
    • Scribd
    • Spoke
    • Business Week BX Profile
    • Fast Company Profile
    • VisualCV
    • ZoomInfo
    • Personal Website or Blog?
    • Guest posts on other blogs?
    • Google Knol
    • SlideShare
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 30. 3: Monitoring Your Reputation
    • Google & Bing yourself weekly.
    • Google Alerts (google.com/alerts)
      • Easiest to set up & manage from a Google account.
      • Structure like a Google search:
        • Quotation marks around phrases
        • Plus & minus sign to add or subtract words
      • Set up Alerts on your name(s), your nickname(s), preferred employers, recruiters, competitors, etc.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 31. 4: 6 Ways to Bury “Digital Dirt”
    • Remove from your own blog/account.
    • Request others remove it.
    • Ask Google to remove it.
    • Push it down in search results by being active in the right places (see 3: More Venues).
    • Present your side of the story.
    • Hire help (ReputationDefender.com)
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 32. Think of The Possibilities…
    • Growing market for people with “social media” skills in corporate America.
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 33. Your assignment…
    • Get started today!
    • Stay in touch, let me know what works for you: wind@job-hunt.org
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 34. Resources
    • Microsoft “ Privacy Study ”
    • Job-Hunt: Social Media & Job Search
    • Dan Schawbel: Personal Branding Blog
    • Steven J. Campbell: Social Branding Blog
    • Jason Alba: ImonLinkedInNowWhat blog
    • Darren Rowse: ProBlogger.net blog
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 35. Resources
    • learn.linkedin.com/new-users/
    • learn.linkedin.com/job-seekers/
    • ImonLinkedInNowWhat.com
    • Free Job-Hunt Guide ebook: Branding & Your LinkedIn Profile
    • Free ebook: Job Seeker’s Guide to LinkedIn
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 36. Books
    • New Rules of Marketing & PR (David Meerman Scott)
    • Me 2.0 (Dan Schawbel)
    • Book (& DVD): I’m on LinkedIn. Now What??? (Jason Alba)
    • The Twitter Job Search Guide (Whitcomb, Bryan, Dib)
    • Radically Transparent (Beal and Strauss)
    © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 37. Job-Hunt.org © 2010 Copyright, NETability, Inc. All rights reserved.
    • Job-Hunt.org :
      • US News & World Report Top Site for Finding Work
      • Forbes Best of the Web for Job Hunting
    • Over 15,500 carefully-selected links, including 8,000+ links to employer recruiting pages
    • Follow @JobHuntOrg on Twitter
    • Friend us at facebook.com/JobHuntOrg
    • Find this presentation at SlideShare.net/jobhuntsue