Last week, I showed a resume to one of my colleagues. The first thing he did after reading it was to type the person’s name into google.
As a candidate, you should know that this is very common. If you are sending out resumes and job applications, you should do your own due diligence and make sure that your online profile is supporting your career aspirations, not clobbering them.
Here is what you do: type your first and last name with quotation marks at the beginning and end. That’s how google knows to look for the whole name and not just the parts.
Your LinkedIn profile should be on the first page. If not, check out this article on tweaking it so that it’s higher on the list – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140708162049-7239647-16-tips-to-optimize-your-linkedin-profile-and-enhance-your-personal-brand
Watch for opportunities to get quoted or photographed at work or industry functions. Industry and corporate bloggers are always looking for content. Ask if you can submit an article or help out at a trade show. These can really work to improve your online profile in a way that’s positive and professional.
If you sit on boards or do volunteer work, that should show too. If it does not, talk to the communications folks about putting information more online. If the reason your name is not showing up is because you are not showing up, then that’s a different story. Get off the couch and contribute.
The goal is to have someone’s first online impression of you be professional and Facebook generally will not do that for you. My Facebook page is pretty clean but I know that my LinkedIn headshot and headline will make a way better impression than my golden retriever who is splashed all over my Facebook page.