I want to continue my exploration of career-building strategies in “The Age of Transparent Networking” by telling you — or reminding you — about a quick and simply way to see what is already being revealed about you online: Googling yourself. The first time I did this was a few years ago, and there was about a page worth of information on me. Now, there are more than five! There are links that send people to a picture of me; ones that have grabbed and quoted text by me, and more.
Will the real Jenny Capella please stand up?
Knowing what is said about you online is a vital part of your professional networking strategy. The other day, I Googled myself and was surprised to see an array of search results for “Jenny Capella”! I had no idea there were so many of us in this world, due to the atypical spelling of my last name.
Suppose a new business contact were to Google me before a networking appointment. They go online and get the wrong Jenny Capella and therefore, get completely inaccurate information. At best, the meeting would take place and my new contact would bring up information that I could correct. At worst, depending on what they read, they could choose not to meet with me after all and start sharing false information with others.
This is an exquisitely hyper-connected planet and if you don’t think this could impact you in networking, I urge you to re-consider. Here are three easy actions for being proactive with your online reputation:
- Read through every listing on each page that shows up on Google about you.
- Work with experts to get the best content moved to page 1, or do it yourself, if you know how. Many of these professionals can also assist you with errors associated with your name. My personal favorite is TJ McCue of Q4 Sales.
- Add content you want online by blogging, writing white papers, or pursuing any of a number of creative online projects.
Many companies hire public relations firms to handle this type of research and strategic positioning. But you can be your own PR firm — Google yourself and grab the reins of what’s online!