Optimize Google Search to Attract Employers

Brilliant Ways Job Seekers Can Attract the Right Kind of Attention with a Google Search

When’s the last occasion you had to Google yourself? If the answer is never, then it’s time you took the plunge. Recruiters and potential employers are actually investigating you through your social media accounts to determine if you’re an applicant worth pursuing.  If they aren’t searching you by name, since they don’t know who you are (yet), then you have a head start. Now’s your chance – don’t wait until you send in your resume or get called in for an interview– to make sure you come up with respect to the keywords related to your personal brand.

And yes, we all have a brand– it’s your credibility and reputation in the job market and what you’re recognized for. The good news is that you have the chance to define it. Once you establish how you intend to position yourself, the next step is to optimize your brand content across all your online channels so it’s readily found during their research. Here’s exactly what to do.

Expand Your LinkedIn Profile, or Create One!

Numerous people have LinkedIn accounts, but few of them are as polished or content-rich as they could be for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. For starters, change out that picture of you and your dog. It’s adorable but not the right type of photo to represent you on a professional network. It may be acceptable for another platform, but you’ll probably want to use a more professional headshot for a strong first impression on LinkedIn.

Next, edit your headline.  It defaults to your existing job title, but you can customize it– and you really should. Consider keywords related to your current skill sets and what you would like to be doing with them in the future. Stay away from trendy headlines like “chief happiness officer,” even if that’s your authentic job title. Creative job titles are a lot more popular now, and they can be indicative of a customer support or human resources role.  A recruiter is more likely to search “human resources” or “customer support” than “happiness” when looking for candidates.

Claim a vanity URL that includes your name so it looks like “linkedin.com/in/yourname”.  Since LinkedIn often ranks well in an organic search, including your name directly in the URL will also ensure you rank well. Once you’ve cleaned up your LinkedIn record, you can add that URL to the bio of your other social media profiles.

Don’t ever leave the summary field empty. Use the entire 2,000-character limit if you can. This is where you should highlight your achievements as opposed to your formal job description. Recruiters prefer to see what you’ve done so they are able to establish if you’re a good match for their client.

Include other locations where people can find you online by customizing the website listings in your contact information. Instead of using LinkedIn’s default of “website,” select “other”, then you can label links to your profile as you see fit.  That will ensure it stands out when someone accesses the contact info on your profile.

Your final step to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to determine how much you want to make available to the community. Your public profile can be modified to limit what people see when they aren’t logged into LinkedIn. There are some benefits in doing that; people will need to log in before they’re able to view your work history and highlights.   You’ll also be able to see who accessed your profile, unless their own viewing settings are set to private.  It’s only logical that you want to make it easy on recruiters to learn about you, make your full profile public and accessible to everyone without requiring a login.

Consider Adding Video

2017 is already proving to be the year of video. YouTube users number more than a billion, and that figure is only growing. The format’s pervasiveness has made it synonymous with web content overall, and that can be a good thing for most applicants.

If you’ve created videos that have anything to do with your job (tutorials, recordings of lectures you’ve given), host them on YouTube as opposed to another video channel. The logic is simple: Google owns YouTube, and your intention is to rank well on Google. Use keywords and descriptions on your YouTube channel that illustrate who you are and emphasize your job competencies. Similar to LinkedIn, stay away from any internal lingo and go with general terms recruiters are likely to search for.

Your videos show who you are more than a resume can, and sometimes, they may even be called for as a component of the interview process (especially for remote-work positions). Whether your video is a quick personal introduction or an in-depth illustration of your capabilities, make certain to include an action step as an annotation.  Do you want prospective employers to email you? Visit your website? Deliver that information right in your video, then connect the dots.  Once you publish a video on YouTube that demonstrates who you are, add it to your LinkedIn profile.

Continue to Demonstrate Your Expertise

Here’s the thing about fine-tuning your web presence for optimal search capability.  It isn’t something you do once and leave out there. You must keep refreshing yourself rather frequently. Whatever social channels you use, you ought to write – or talk – about what you can do.

Working Outside

Working Outside fm Flickr

This doesn’t mean generating loads of new content, though. It can be as simple as adding thoughtful comments on what others have posted or written. You could also discuss leaders you respect or people whose blogs you may follow, or touch on an event you attended or a book you’re reading. But you’ll want to do that wherever recruiters and hiring managers are already searching, like LinkedIn, YouTube, public Facebook groups for people who share your interests or industry, your own website, etc.

You should also diligently monitor your social media feeds for what other people are saying and look for ways to regularly add value to those dialogues.  Just persevere. There’s a lot of internet noise out there, so you need repeated exposures to enhance the strength of your brand.  A stale social media profile won’t help you stand apart from the masses.

Expand Your Network

These online efforts should dovetail with your offline activities and produce a virtual circle. Any time you go to a meeting or an event, connect online with the people you’ve met, just ensure you have a reason to connect.  Recall something you talked about when you met, reference something from the event of mutual interest or highlight something else that makes you appealing as a connection. This isn’t exactly an SEO tactic, but it can support the ones you’ve already incorporated, for instance, by perhaps generating interest through a recruiter who has a loose connection with you online.

Finally, keep in mind brands evolve (for that matter, so does Google’s search algorithm), so your digital branding efforts ought to as well. Even after a recruiter contacts you for the job of your dreams, continue to take action to enhance your brand for future reference. Whatever your personal brand may be at any given time, the right people always should be able to find it with a straightforward search.

For more information on your resume and finding the perfect job, contacting a professional staffing agency is always an effective option. And if you’re in IT and looking for work in Dallas-Fort Worth, Maxsys Solutions is one of the area’s exceptional IT Staffing Agencies.


Featured Image 06.20.10 by Hillary fm Flickr