Once you establish your brand, carry it through your career-marketing communication. You can use it on your resume (preferably adapted so it is no in third-person), in an online or print portfolio, on your personal Web site, in your blog (see next section), on networking/business cards, and more. Also consider enhancing your branding by offering yourself to the media for your expertise, speaking in public, generating visibility in professional organizations, serving as an adjunct instructor on consultant at a college or university, writing articles for publication, and serving on advisory boards and boards of directors.
Personal Branding, “Googlability,”Â and Your Online Presence
Chapter 6 on portfolios touched on the growing trend in which employers seek information on candidates by looking them up on Internet search engines and the accompanying importance of creating and managing an online presence. To underscore that importance, Ross Mayfield says, “If you don’t have an identity on the Web, you don’t exist.” Mayfield is CEO of Socialtext, an enterprise social software company, in an article published in NewsFactor Network.
Alice Hanson, a Seattle-based recruiter who worked for a large software company, recently described how she finds candidates: “The first thing I do is go to Google and look for resumes that are posted to the Internet. These are the first people I call because they are free,”Â she explained. The number of citations or “hits”Â on Google is considered a reasonable gauge of a candidate’s visibility. Google searches are so crucial to recruiters that they hold training classes, write manuals, and share secrets on discussion boards about exotic Google search strategies to find candidates. Keep in mind, though, that employers and recruiters aren’t just looking for your “Googlability”Â “Â how many times your name pops up in a search. They’re also interested in how positive your online image is. Thus, you need to be very careful of how you project your story online. The Internet is a highly public medium, and personal information floating out there in cyberspace could unfortunately work against you. A prospective employer could view a comment that you innocently post to an online discussion group negatively. The advice of an anonymous blog contributor is worth heeding: “Never post anything that you wouldn’t be willing to read on the front page of the New York Times.”Â