Type your name into Google. What comes up? If you are active on LinkedIn, you will likely see a link to your profile. Scroll down the first couple of pages and see what a future employer will find when they do the same search. Many things can be done to manage your on-line identity and one of those is to create a YourName.com page.
Why would you want this? If you are a job hunter (and I would suggest we are all job hunters, making connections for the next leg of our careers), this will further extend your resume. You can offer links to the YourName.com page in a cover letter where you can tell potential employers more about yourself. You can view my page at kenrevenaugh.com .
No, this is not the first draft version of my personal website. This site has been up for about four years, and I have continually updated and changed it. I started with a single page site that detailed my methodology for accelerating sales performance – my day job.
With the Super Bowl behind us, we are all reminded of a company called GoDaddy who always runs a sexy commercial. The advertising and the branding may be a little crude, but I find them very easy to work with for purchasing a domain. Considering visiting GoDaddy.com and you will find simple tutorials on how to do this. For around $10 a year you could own the rights to a domain with your name.
If you have a common name like John Smith, you may have to decide buy something like JohnSmithMarketing.com so you have a unique and unused domain. You may have other key terms or statements that you want to purchase. You can have multiple domains all go to a single website. For example you can also get to my page my typing in HighPerformanceSalesJourney.com.
Remember the rule to never put your photo on a resume? In our socially connected world, it’s quite the opposite online. A photo will ensure you are more than just a resume; you are an interesting person who should get a call. But don’t go to casual or unprofessional. This is not the place for photos of your championship beer bong night.
If you have a friend that takes good photos, that is perfect, but I would highly recommend a professional photo. You’re not after the perfect executive photo, with your neatly pressed suit. You want a photo that captures your eyes. I learned this from Facebook guru Mari Smith. You are trying to make a connection on-line, and a good photo that clearly shows your eyes is a way to gain your reader’s trust.
Build the Website
This is where I must say I think it gets a little complicated. There are many tools online to help you build your own website. I have tried a few, but in the end I needed help from a professional. The good news, there are a lot of freelance web developers. One place to find talent is elance.com. You can post a simple description of your project and, in return people will bid on the project. This is often very reasonable. I have had offers for developers to build single page custom sites for under a hundred dollars. Make sure to tell them you will need help uploading the site to a server and pointing your domain to the site.
Or, you may want to visit YouNeedASocialResume.com, where you can contract to create a fully fleshed-out, keyword optimized (to make it easier to find you) website suitable for an entrepreneur or a job seeker for only $350. (Which includes your domain name, training materials and a light edit for all of your content from a social media expert.)
In the complicated world of what appears in a Google search, it’s easy to decide this is a good idea. If you can buy your name as a domain and people search for your name, it will likely soon be appearing on the first page. It’s okay to be a little more casual online than you may be during your first interview. In fact as an avid motorcyclist, my next online addition will be a shot of me on a bike, as it ties into my theme of the sales journey. Don’t wait until you can make the perfect site, just do it. You see some items on my site that say coming soon. It’s always a work in progress.
Finally, if you are like me, you may need a third party to look it over and ensure it conveys the message you intend and improves your chances of being hired. If so, I would suggest consulting a professional resume and career coach like Miriam Salpeter.