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10 online reputation management tips for job seekers

James A. Martin | July 18, 2012
Use these 10 tips to improve your personal Google search results and help land the job you want.

6. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile.

LinkedIn is particularly important for job seekers- yet too many people don't fully optimize their profiles, says Nick Parham, a San Francisco-based career counselor and LinkedIn marketing expert.

Don't use the first person when writing about yourself on LinkedIn (or, for that matter, Twitter), Parham advises. Using the third person sounds more professional. Also, by using your name in your profile, you reinforce to Google that this LinkedIn page is highly relevant to a search about you. Use your full name at least twice in your profile, especially at the beginning of your LinkedIn profile. You can also put your name in your LinkedIn profile headline. However, for later references in your profile, primarily use your last or first name only. Bottom line: Make sure your profile reads naturally.

Use keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile that describe what you currently do and/or the types of jobs you're going for, Parham recommends. For example, if you're a mobile application developer or going for a job in that field, put the keyword phrase "mobile app development" prominently in your LinkedIn headline, summary, skills and in previous job titles or experience. If possible, ask others to use your keywords in their recommendations of you.

How-to: 5 LinkedIn Features You May Not (But Should) Know About Analysis: Should You Upgrade to a Paid LinkedIn Account?

Finally, make sure you have a LinkedIn URL with your name in it, as it may help your profile rank higher in Google search results, Parham advises. On LinkedIn, go to your profile settings and claim a vanity URL that includes your name.

7. Buy As Many Domains That Include Your Name As Possible.

When ranking content for relevancy, Google puts a lot of emphasis on the words within a URL. So if there's a Web page, blog or site that's all about you, and it's located at, chances are great that Google will rank that content number one (or at the top) of your search results, Ambron advises.

Advice: 6 Personal Branding Mistakes That Can Threaten Your Job Search

Why buy more than one domain if you don't plan to use them? Ambron says it's important to own as many as you can to prevent others with the same name from owning those URLs. While that may seem greedy, its actually a defensive reputation management strategy. "I know of one case in which someone bought URLs with another person's name in them, put up a bunch of embarrassing websites using those URLs, and then tried to extort money from the victim," he explains.

8. Create a Personal Website, Blog or Web Page and Point Your Best URL At It.


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