A poll conducted by Harris Interactive shows that 23 percent of people search the Web for the name of potential business contacts before meeting them. In a survey by executive job-search and recruiting network ExecuNet of 100 executive recruiters, 77 said they use search engines to learn more about candidates.
Google searches are so crucial to recruiters that they hold training classes and share secrets on discussion boards about exotic Google search strategies to find candidates.
As if to underscore the importance of Googlability, Mark Berger of Swat Recruiting offers a book to recruiters called Power Searching for Free Resumes on Google — A Guide to Advanced Search Techniques and Methods, providing “advanced methods utilized for locating qualified resumes of passive candidates on Google.” Similarly, JobMachine.net offers a “Google CheatSheet for Recruiters.” It doesn’t take too much imagination to deduce that resources offering recruiters tips on finding candidates through Google could also prove valuable for candidates who want to be found on Google.
The average job-seeker probably does not think about the importance of Google and the other online sites the recruiter mentioned. Sullivan calls Google “the best-funded recruiting machine on the planet.” He also cites ZoomInfo as “the best source for finding employed top performers who are not actively seeking a new job … (i.e., the difference-makers).”
Bottom line: Your digital presence is more important than ever, and even if you are not actively seeking a new job, a digital presence, in which you pop up in Google and other searches, can open up some unexpected opportunities.
You can establish something of a digital presence using the social-networking tools and venues discussed in Chapter 4, but that kind of “outpost” approach (as social-media guru Chris Brogan calls it) will work much better if you have a “home base” to refer all your connections to. Thus, the basic digital-presence package we recommend is:
- Your own Web site with your name as the site’s domain name (for example, katharinehansenphd.com). Instead of a static Web site, your site could be a blog. Create an “About” page for your site or blog that is rich with information about yourself. Brogan suggests that your “About” page tell who you are, how to find you, and what you’re passionate about. Also include a “Contact” page that lists every possible way to reach you.
- Your resume on your Web site or blog. Schawbel notes that “instead of submitting your resume, it becomes a billboard that can be shared, distributed to hiring managers, searched and more.”