Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

What does Google know about you?

Admit it, you’ve Googled yourself. Just to see what it turns up, right? Chances are, others are Googling you as well.

Like it or not, the Internet is compiling a record of you for others to see. That record is likely far from complete, and only offers readers small windows into your life – personal and/or professional. But in a world of increased access to information of all types, you’d be surprised what others can learn about you.

So who would want to Google you? Future employers, for one. But also colleagues, direct reports, potential clients and business partners, etc. Your online record will increasingly impact how new professional relationships are established and shaped.

So with all of these groups reading about you online, how do you control what they read? How can you help increase the possibility that they’ll read what you want them to read about you?

Perhaps the most important and easiest way to influence what’s people read is for you to actively contribute to what’s available. Create a profile on LinkedIn that gives your employment history, education profile, even endorsements of work you have done.

If you haven’t done so already, start a personal blog. Don’t worry about frequency or even readership. Just establish an online paper trail about things you find important, ideas you have, how you think, etc. This blog, for instance, would give any future business partner or employer a good sense for how I think about marketing, what I value and how I might help further a business goal of theirs.

And if those two tools don’t go far enough, keep a resume online. Register your personal URL, and make it a portal for people to learn about you. Include links to your blog, your past work, your LinkedIn profile, articles you’ve written, etc.

This isn’t about ego. This isn’t about building a brag sheet. It’s about making it clear who you are, what you do, what you believe in, and what you’re interested in. If nothing else, you will be surprised what kind of networking and business opportunities it will generate for yourself personally and your current business.

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