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Personal Branding Using Google Plus Profiles

By Meg Guiseppi

Google is constantly changing its appearance, features and functionality to improve the user experience, and in some cases, to improve users' ability to brand themselves.

What was once a "Google" Profile is now the About page on a "Google+" (or Google Plus) Profile.

Ever since the Google Profile was rolled out in 2009, I've been recommending that job seekers create one, to complement their  branded, 100% complete LinkedIn profile, forming the beginnings of their online presence, or extending their existing online footprint.

I advised that, as long as their Google Profile was not a carbon copy of their LinkedIn profile, these two web pages would be a good basic online foundation, providing anyone assessing them (recruiters, hiring professionals, target companies, etc.) with information supporting their personal brand story and good fit qualities.

My advice still holds true with the advent of the new Google+, but now the profile is an even more powerful branding tool than when it was just a "Google profile."

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Why Is Google+ So Important?

Launched in June 2011, Google+ is attempting to outdistance Facebook, as a social network consisting of not just a single site, but rather an overarching layer which covers many of its online properties (according to Wikipedia).

Even if you do nothing more with Google+ than let it be one of your static web profiles, posting a branded, fully fleshed out profile, with the right relevant keywords, in the right places, can help you:

  • Become highly visible online,
  • Provide further social proof legitimizing the career claims you've made about yourself verbally and in your career documents, beyond whatever else exists online about you.
  • More effectively qualify as a good fit candidate for your target employers, and
  • Out compete job seekers vying for the jobs you want. Candidates with the stronger online footprint are more appealing to hiring decision makers.

But Google+ offers so much more. It's a social network with Circles, Communities, Photo Sharing, Hangouts and a mobile app.

In 10 tips to take advantage of Google+ for SEO, Cyrus Shepard, Chief Marketer at Placefull, Inc. said:

"It's no secret. When engineers built Google+, they constructed an SEO juggernaut to dominate search results above all other social platforms. Although Facebook and Twitter are essential to marketing efforts, both restrict Google from accessing much of their data. This limits their SEO effectiveness. Not so with Google+."

Saman Kouretchian, an online marketing consultant noted in a Social Media Today article:

"Think about how often you use Google Search, Chrome, Android, Gmail, Google Maps, Docs, YouTube, Gchat, and Calendar, to name a few Google owned products. Millions of people use these products every day and if Google Plus is integrated into all of these, which it will be soon, then it might seem unnecessary to leave Google for social networking."

It's a good idea to set up Google Authorship so Google will link your original content anywhere on the web to you, as the verified author. This can qualify you to have the photo you've posted to your Google+ Profile sit next to the search results for your content, which may also help Google devalue (and ignore) any unauthorized content associated with you.

Completing Your Google+ Profile

As of this writing, these are the sections available.

  • Photo
    Because people will connect better with you and believe your content more with an accompanying photo, it's very important to include one. A photo humanizes your brand driven content.
  • Tagline
    Load it with the relevant keywords and phrases that recruiters and hiring decision makers will search, when sourcing candidates like you.
  • Introduction
    I recommend creating biography type content for this main section of your profile, supporting your value with "brand stories." Check out  my Google+ Profile.
  • Occupation
    Using relevant keywords, encapsulate the kind of work you do and your value to your target employers.
  • Employment
    For consistency and social proof, include the same jobs you've included in your LinkedIn profile.
  • Education
  • Gender
    May help distinguish you from others with your name.
  • Other names
    If people may look for you online by various names (nickname, common misspellings of your name) that aren't the same as your Google+ Profile name, include them here, to help Google associate you correctly with any and all content about you online.
  • Profile Discovery
    It's very important to check the box here, so your profile will be visible in search to everyone.
  • Other profiles
    Lead people to your other social networking profiles, if you're active there (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Contributor to...
    Show people any blogs or websites you contribute content to. Helps with Google Authorship.
  • Links
    Include links to other web pages containing more relevant information about you (articles, blog posts, white pages, news reports, awards, etc.)

I suggest you exercise caution with the following areas. Including them will make your profile 100% complete, but this information may jeopardize your safety.

  • Bragging Rights
    Although completing this may help give a feel for your personality, don't put anything here that will damage your reputation or sabotage your positioning as a good-fit candidate.
  • Places Lived
    May be important if you've lived in diverse locations, to support your global experience and expertise, but it could be risky to provide your geographical trail.
  • Home phone
  • Work phone
  • Relationship
    Seeing anyone?
  • Looking for...
    Who are you looking for?
  • Birthday
    Wise to avoid posting your birthdate anywhere online given how useful it is to identity thieves.

It's up to you, if you want to provide this kind of identifying info. I NEVER give out my date of birth if it will be posted somewhere online. And I don't want to share my relationship status with the world. All these little bits of personal information can possibly lead bad people to steal your identity.

If you'd rather not include a phone number, but want to be easily contacted, you can add your email address. If you're a job seeker, make sure that email address is not connected to your employer. Scroll down the right hand sidebar to the section headed "Complete your profile." Hover over the left/right arrows and click until you get to add contact info, where you can provide your email.

You can also add more photos and videos to your profile - of you or anyone or anything else appropriate.

For more about Google Plus, see Job-Hunt's Guide to Google Plus for Job Search.


About the author...

Meg Guiseppi, Job-Hunt's Personal Branding Expert and 20+ year careers industry veteran, has earned 10 certifications, including Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Reach Social Branding Analyst – LinkedIn Profile Strategist, and Certified Executive Resume Master.Meg is the author of "23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land." Connect with Meg at ExecutiveCareerBrand.com for c-suite personal branding and executive job search help and on Google+ and Twitter (@MegGuiseppi).


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Guide to Personal Branding:

What Is Personal Branding?

First Step: Define Your Personal Brand:

Next: Build Your Personal Brand:

Build Your Personal Brand Using LinkedIn:

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Build Your Personal Brand Using Other Social Media:

Leveraging Your Personal Brand:

Maintain Your Brand:

Refresh/Change Your Brand:

Personal Branding Expert:

For More Information:


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