When was the last time you entered your name in the Google search engine? What results did you see? Does your name appear numerous times? You might be wondering what this has to do with career networking. Many executives and recruiters use Google to look up your name, try to find out about you and learn if you have potential as an employee.
There is an old saying to the effect that ‘it is not what you know, but who you know.’ However, in this age of technology, your success at networking can also result from who knows you.
Most recruiters and employers are looking to find a positive image when they conduct a Google search of your name. So be cautious about how you present yourself on the Internet. Things like your religious and political affiliation could work adversely against you.
Here are four things to avoid:
- Recruiters and employers unable to find your name anywhere on the Internet.
- Recruiters and employers finding outdated information about you on the Internet.
- Publishing controversial views online.
- Showing controversial pictures online.
Following are some suggestions to increase your online visibility:
- In one minute, write down on a piece of paper your areas of expertise. Now that you have identified your expertise, contact by email, letter or phone the local media and online editors. Let them know that you are available for contributions on specific topics. Your media kit should include your business card, an updated resume and a list of expert tips.
- Your visibility should extend to professional and civic associations. Becoming a member in these organizations is an excellent method of networking. However, the best way to get your name out there is to run for an office within the professional or civic association or volunteer on a committee.
- Do public speaking. Organizations and associations are always looking for guest speakers. You probably won’t get paid, but it will certainly increase your exposure.
- Offer the same expert services to local universities by becoming a guest speaker for college clubs and groups. You could also apply for an adjunct instructor position at the college.
- Online and print publications (ideally trade magazines and industry related publications) are always seeking good writers. Write articles and become a columnist for these publications. Even though the compensation may be minimal, getting your name out there is your primary goal and this can be priceless.
- Serve as a member on an advisory board with a non-profit organization. Be mindful however that this could be a huge responsibility and you would have to commit a lot of time.
- A personal web page with your portfolio is another excellent way of getting your name out there.
by John Sylo