What: Make your professional profile easier to find online.
Why: People search online and you want search engines (“Google”) to list your preferred professional online identity first so people can easily find you.
Evidence/Example: Search “Dave Sue” to see where I rank, even compared to a published Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Western Washington University who has a number of academic journal entries and a book on Amazon.
- Who do you want to find you? Who is your desired primary audience(s) or DPAs?
- Where online besides Google and Linked-in do they look? What sources do they trust?
- When you search for your name online and in the places defined in #2 above, what do you find?
- What (i.e., info, photo, etc.) about yourself do you want to share professionally online?
Use the inputs from #4 and put them into all the places defined in #2; share the same information (and photo if possible) consistently across different platforms. Also, diffuse any negative listings found in #3.
Level One (i.e., basic places to start):
- Update your Linked-in profile (or create one if you don’t have one; it’s free).
- Use a custom Linked-in address or URL (http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname).
- Follow basic Linked-in tips (e.g., make sure you have solid recommendations from people who you are not giving a Linked-in recommendation to, etc.).
Update it and make sure you’re OK with anyone reading it. Assume nothing on Facebook is private.
- Get a Twitter account and name it @firstname+lastname or @initials.
[If you have one already, switch your Twitter account to @firstname+lastname or @initials]
- Add a short bio to your profile: a brief, high level overview.
- Start following people and subjects relevant to your industry.
- Be active! Tweet daily news articles you find interesting. Reply to people who share interesting things. Be part of the conversation and the community!
Standardize your profile on all the channels you have defined that your DPA might visit (Step #2 above). Search engines will give you credit for the work you’ve put into participating in these online communities and channels.
Level Two (i.e., strengthen your online presence by getting listed on other places online through ideas such as):
- Resume – Migrate to an online resume.
- About Me – Sign up for a free profile.
- Website – Register a domain in your name and start a personal website. [See note below].
- Blog – Demonstrate your expertise in the field by writing on industry trends, showing your confidence, industry knowledge and skills.
Search engines rank listings and websites primarily based on their relevancy and trustworthiness. It is true that there are over 200 different factors Google uses to determine its rankings for any search, and so getting discovered online can feel like a complicated process. Nonetheless, having your professional profile listed on more websites that are considered trustworthy and then having those websites link back to a professional profile page you manage (e.g., your linked-in profile, website, etc.) is a strategy for professional profile visibility success.
Given the limited number of persons with your name intentionally working to rank their profiles, there is a good chance that following just the above will get you ranked first when someone searches for your name.