In April, 2009, Google powered up the personal branding value of Google Profiles by transforming them into customized listings with your photo, usually on the first page of search results for “your name.”
Try entering my name in quotes (“meg guiseppi”) into a Google search and scroll down to the bottom of the first page. You should see the link to my Google Profile with my photo. That’s attention-grabbing, isn’t it?
Job Search & Branding Impact
Think what an impact this can have in your job search. Recruiters and hiring decision makers searching your name to find out about you will immediately zoom in on your Google profile photo and want to click through. They won’t likely miss that listing.
If your Google profile is pumped up with on-brand content that differentiates your value proposition, they’ve landed right where you want them to.
One smart way to use your Google Profile is when you’re leaving comments on blogs – another great online branding strategy. Add your Google Profile URL for your website when logging in. People reading your comments will be led to information you want them to know about you.
Google makes it extremely easy to set up an account and put your profile together.
On the "Edit Your Profile" page, working down from the top, here’s how to do it:
1. Fill in your name and nickname. Google also allows "Other names", which can be maiden name or alternate spelling. If your name is often misspelled you may want to add that here. People who search your misspelled name will still find you.
2. Your professional headline goes in the "What I do" field and allows space for a long statement which should include your personal brand message with relevant key words.
3. You'll find fields to add the following:
- Where you grew up
- Where you live now
- Places you've lived
- Current company
- Companies you've worked for
- Current school
- Schools you've attended
Although your answers may make you easier to find, for security reasons you may not want to add all of this identifying information. But filling in where you grew up and where you live now generates an eye-catching map that pinpoints the cities you've mentioned.
4. Add a professional photo of yourself, nicely cropped, and be sure to check the box "Display my full name so I can be found in search" next to your photo, for obvious reasons.
5. Next, you'll see a box for "Verified domains". Check which domains you'd like to appear on your profile, helping visitors know that this is really your profile.
6. Then Google suggests adding "A little personality" with a short bio. Lead this section with your personal brand statement, if you have one.
On my own Google Profile I pasted in my career bio, but your branded resume or a combination of resume and bio would be a great idea, too. If you need help building your branded resume or career biography, see Executive Career Biography or Resume, Which Comes First?
7. Other queries Google prompts you for:
• Something I can't find using Google
• My superpower
I strongly recommend filling in the "Interests" field. This is a great opportunity to generate chemistry by including passions and activities of yours that may be shared by or spark interest in those reading your profile. You can have some fun with the other two fields, if you like.
8. Next, you'll see the "Links" section where you can add links to any online content about “brand you” (blog, website, VisualCV, LinkedIn profile, Twitter account and other social networking profiles, etc.).
9. At the very bottom of the page, you'll see "Profile URL", an option to personalize the URL for your Google Profile, which you definitely should do.
Google Profiles is a must-do EASY online branding strategy – a powerful way to broadcast your personal brand message and a super quick way to add a knockout, accurate listing on page one of search results for “your name”. Make it easy for the very people you want to impress (recruiters and hiring decision makers) to land on the right information about you.
© Copyright Meg Guiseppi, 2009. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt’s Personal Branding Expert and 20-year careers industry veteran, holds 7 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Certified Online Identity Strategist, and Master Resume Writer. Meg is the author of the ebook, "23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land." Connect with Meg at Executive Career Brand, on LinkedIn (LinkedIn.com/in/megguiseppi), and on Twitter (@megguiseppi).
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