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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.

In addition to your social media accounts, create a comprehensive Web page that's all about you, with your accomplishments, personal interests and professional background, Ambron says. Include links to other positive content about you on the Web, too. The search engines will see this site or page as highly relevant to you and, thus, are likely to rank it highly, especially when you use a URL with your name in it.

WordPress and Blogger (owned by Google) are free, easy-to-use content management systems that will enable you to easily build a Web presence, Beal says. Also, those domains tend to rank highly in Google search results.

To get a head start identifying social media network and URLs you can "own" with your name, go to KnowEm, Beal advises. This basic free service will help you quickly find available URLs across the Web.

9. Tackle Negative Stuff Head On.

Is there something negative about you on page one of Google that you can't control-say, a newspaper report mentioning an arrest? If so, don't ignore it in job interviews, Beal says, as you can be sure your potential employer saw it. Be open about it in your interview, and consider listing a link to the newspaper report on your resume, as well as a link to a subsequent report that shows the charges were dropped (if that's the case).

If the negative content is buried deep on page 2 or 3 of your results, don't bring it to an employer's attention-he or she might not have seen it. However, you should be prepared with a thoughtful, honest and well-rehearsed explanation of what happened in case you're asked.

10. Optimize Your Images.

Image searches on Google are becoming increasingly popular, especially if someone is researching a job candidate. As a result, make sure that images you post online are optimized with your name, Ambron says. Put your name in the image caption, the "alt text" HTML tag and even in the image file name. These three steps will help your pictures rank highly for an image search on your name.



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