I have a new exercise suggestion that doesn’t include entering a gym. Are you interested? Visit http://www.google.com/ and enter your name and see what reveals itself. Is the person looking back at you from cyberspace the successful, fit persona you want to embody for 2010? Or are you seeing the “before” picture that you’d rather leave back in 2009?
They don’t call it the world WIDE web for nothing. For your own personal standing, your businesses reputation and especially if you’re a job seeker in 2010, I highly recommend googling yourself at least once a month. Here are some additional tips:
• Personal status: So what if you enter your name into google and you come up with nothing but an article on a foreigner with your same name? If you’re in the market for a new job and haven’t put yourself out to network, you may be at a disadvantage. But overall, a blank search is preferable to 20 unsavory links to bad behavior.
• Job seekers: Companies will be using the web to learn about you before your resume is even considered for employment. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? Does it match the resume you submitted? Do you have any other links that you’d rather bury than discuss in an interview? If you do, the best way to counteract this is get positive press out there on yourself so that the deep dark embarrassing link gets buried to page 2 and 3 where an employer is less likely to dig. How do you get positive press? Start a blog, join other social networking sites like Plaxo and Facebook and keep the good links coming.
• Business Owners:
o If you don’t have a PR agency on retainer you should be out there yourself checking on what the world is saying about you and your business. A few weeks ago I searched myself and to my surprise a few new links that I was unaware of rose to the top. One of which was a fantastic article that ended up linking back to my blog (Thanks again Lauren Shapiro!). I was thrilled for the mention but wouldn’t have known about it without doing a little digging on my own.
o This is also a great opportunity to evaluate your advertising spend. When you google your company name, do two or three other similar businesses top yours in ranking? Believe me, your competitors are out there doing this same exercise. Have the stamina in 2010 to be diligent about this exercise and embrace the search results.