Have you “Googled” yourself lately? Well, if you haven’t you’d better do so right away. In an effort to fine-tune applicant screening processes, hiring managers and headhunters are checking to see if job candidates have Google identities. What they find online is helping them decide whether or not to grant job interviews.
The practice of using Google and other search engines to get background information on prospective job candidates is not new; but most job seekers are unaware of their online personal information. How you show up on Google is one of the critical factors companies are using these days to source and screen out candidates. So if you want to know your online reputation, then you should “Google” yourself.
Google itself is aware that most people don’t like the fact that they have no control over search results, or in some cases their names and information may not even appear in the results at all. To manage this problem the search giant recently introduced the Google Profile to allow users to input the information they would like featured on the web. This should go a long way to even the playing field.
The Google Profile is free, quick and easy to create. It reminds me of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace profiles, but provides a thumbnail picture and summary information for display in a general name search. For a full view of your profile, interested parties will have to click on a link.
Consider the Google Profile as another marketing tool that can be used to showcase your skills and expertise and to help promote your personal brand. Don’t dismiss its potential value. Check it out and see if it meets your needs. After all, you certainly can benefit from every bit of help you can get in today’s competitive job market.