Just like you take care of your home each spring, take this time to spruce up your career to make the very best out of it. Here are the eight moves to spring clean your career.
1. Search Your Name on the Web
According to Google, its users do 100 billion searches per month, which adds up to about 1.2 trillion searches per year. What’s even more surprising is that it has been estimated that 30% of searches on Googleare job-related.
What are those people searching for your name finding? Hopefully, it’s important websites, publications, or projects that can help you land your next position, or land a promotion. Find out what is currently available under your name so that you can be prepared for questions about those search results, ask not to be mentioned in undesirable places, and build up your online presence. Besides Google, search your name on other search engines, including Yahoo and Bing.
2. Buy Your Name as a Domain
An effective way to establish a hub for your online presence is to purchase your own domain name. Take me as an example. If you look for “Damian Davila” you will find two main individuals: a talented drummer/photographer, and an experienced personal finance writer. While I enjoy the surf photographs of my doppelgänger, I want to make sure that people learn more about my writing when looking up my name. That is why I bought my own domain name, DamianDavila.com and plan to use it to showcase my writing portfolio.
Owning your own domain name allows you stand out from the crowd, particularly when you have a very popular name. Keep in mind that it may take some time to be able to buy your domain name — in my case it took two long years until it became available!
3. Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts
Speaking of search results and websites, you’ll notice that social media accounts rank heavily on all search engines. For example, when looking up my name on Google, three out of the nine results from the first page are links to social media accounts.
While you may think that your private business is for your eyes only, be aware that 35% of employers who screen via social networks have requested to become a friend or follow candidates who have private accounts. Depending on the details on the position that you’re applying for, your potential employer may have a valid concern for your online activity. Don’t let an inappropriate comment or photo become an obstacle in your path to career success.
4. Invest in a Professional Headshot
While most recruiters recommend that you don’t include a photograph when submitting your resume, most social media sites, company directories, and PR organizations do request a headshot. Take the time — and the expense — to get a professional headshot. You can hire a professional photographer, ask a favor from your photog friend or relative (do return the favor when they ask!), or request one from the HR department of your company.
Be prepared for those times when your boss wants to make an announcement of your promotion in the local newspaper, you want to show yourself in your own domain name, or you submit an article for a website as a guest blogger.