First impressions count!
Whether it is over the phone, face to face or online, the first contact anyone has with you will affect their opinion of you – for life.
Online, the main way to initially “meet people” is via search engines. Most people nowadays will conduct a quick search on someone they are about to hire, interview or network with. With personal online visibility playing such a large role in today’s world, ensuring that you make a good first impression via the search engine result pages is essential. These listings have become known as your Google CV.
What is Your Google CV?
Online, your reputation is translated from what appears on the first three pages of the results that Google returns when your name is searched for. Very few searchers will progress beyond the first ten results of a search and it is vital that your most important information appears here. Just like a traditional CV, everyone needs to have a Google CV and it should feature the “you” that you want people to see.
Step One in the Google CV Process
The first thing to do is to make sure that you actually appear in the top listings of Google. You are unlikely to have a unique name – unless Frank Zappa is your father - so it is up to you to make sure that you are the Joe Smith who is number one. It may also be possible that other people have written some negative things about you. These should never be the first results that people find, meaning you need to add more content to push these negative mentions down the rankings and away from page one.
It is also not good enough for the first Google result to be about you purely because you were photographed at the latest club opening in your city. This will not impress most future employers or clients. The first few results on your Google CV need to portray you as how you want to be seen – a fundamental step on online self-marketing. If you are looking for a new job, your first few results need to be professional and informative or, if you are building your online blogging / website profile, a little more personal information and motivation to visit your site could be needed.
How to Build Your Google CV
This all sounds well and good, but many people are lost when it comes to making it happen. Thankfully, there are some easy things to remember when successfully building your Google CV:
- Have a website – There are few better ways to control your persona online than by having your own website / blog.
- Create good content – If you have a website or blog, make sure that it is regularly updated with quality content to help make you the leading expert in your field.
- Become involved – Having a strong online presence by participating in areas like forums and commenting on blogs will increase the amount of cross-linking that occurs around your name.
- Network socially – Having an active profile on sites like LookupPage, Facebook and LinkedIn will help you make valuable connections. These sites also rank well on Google and offer trusted links to your website.
- Contribute online – This could be by commenting wherever you can (good, informative commentary of course) or in the form of articles. By becoming a regular contributor to the myriad of online article directory sites, you can come to be considered an expert in your field and fill the results pages with informative content, all courtesy of you.
- Sign up with a web presence builder – These online offerings, like LookupPage, can guide you through the process of building a comprehensive and successful Google CV – doing most of the hard work for you and acting as a pivotal component of your online self-marketing.