Google Your Name?
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts The Voice of Job Seekers, with Mark Anthony Dyson, a couple of weeks ago. Mark was interviewing Susan Joyce, who is the founder of job-hunt.org and WorkCoachCafe.com. The episode was Defensive Googling and The Obsolete 40-Hour Work Week. Susan was on for the 1st half of the episode.
It was all about why you should google your name.
Is it not vanity or ego to google your name?
Before a recruiter reaches out to you, they will almost always google your name. They want to know something about you. What have you published? Is there anything negative about you on the Internet?
Maybe there is nothing about you on the Internet. What does that say about you?
I was raised as a baby boomer to be private. Bragging about yourself and bringing attention to yourself was considered vain. In this day and age, if you want to stay relevant, you need to be found and found for things that you want to be found for.
If a recruiter finds nothing about you, they may assume that you are not online at all or you are hiding something.
The Proper Way to Google Your Name
If you enter your name in Google or Bing or any of the other search engines in a plain Jane browser window, your search results will be skewed because it remembers who you are and where you have been on the Internet.
You need to open a private window and what it is called depends on the browser you use.
- Chrome calls this an incognito window
- Safari and Firefox call this a private window
- Internet Exploder or .. uh err.. Internet Explorer calls this … I do not know what they call this because I have not used IE for years.
Before I started Career Pivot when I would google my name in a Chrome incognito window my name would not appear until page 3 or 4. Now, when I google my name, it is the first 3 entries on Page 1.
Back in 2010, I was nearly invisible on the Internet.
Are you invisible on the Internet?
I have a common name
Wait! I have a very common name. What do I do?
It depends on whether the person is someone who is reputable or is infamous. Either way, you need to work on getting your name higher in the rankings.
Do you have a personal website? If not, you probably should at least get your own URL. I own marc-miller.me which should direct you to Careerpivot.com.
How Often Should I Check?
The advice Susan Joyce gave in the podcast is weekly when you are in an active job search.
I say daily but that is pretty tedious. What you can do, however, is set up a Google Alert.
You can set up the ‘alert’ to deliver a report each time it finds the search string. Or it can send you a digest. You can specify whether to send you the digest daily or weekly and specify the time of day the digest should be delivered.
I have multiple searches set up:
- Marc Miller
- Career Pivot
- Repurpose Your Career
Whenever a bootleg copy of my book “Repurpose Your Career” appears on a download website I get notified. If someone refers to a career pivot I get notified.
Whenever my name “Marc Miller” appears in a press release or an article I will be notified. There are a lot more Marc Miller’s in high places than I thought and I now know whenever a Marc Miller gets a DWI or DUI ticket.
Why should I care?
Your personal brand is primarily based on what is found online. You need to stay on top of what is being said about you and what is being said about people with your same name.
Yeah I know that is not fair. Well … get over it. The only way to manage what is found about you is to be vigilant about what is being written.
Should something bad actually happen like you get a DWI or DUI, there are ways to get the search entry to get buried but that is a whole different post.
Are you going to Google Your Name today?