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Online Identity

Job Search Q&A with Career Expert, Wendy Enelow, MRW, CCM, JCTC, CPRW
Co-Author – “Expert Resumes for Military-to-Civilian Transitions”

Question: How important is online identity to my job search as I transition from the Army into a purchasing position in corporate America?

Answer: Online identity and reputation management are important to EVERY job seeker. The first thing a prospective employer or recruiter is going to do is “Google” you or search for you on LinkedIn. If you're not there, you don't exist!

LinkedIn is the #1 online business networking site and essential to your search if you're a professional, technical, managerial or executive job seeker. Other sites in this category include Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, Ziggs, Xing, Ning and Tribe. These sites are interactive, encouraging you to communicate with others. RECOMMENDATION: LinkedIn + 2 others.

Google Profiles belong to a different category – online identity management sites. Included in this category are Zoom Info, Naymz and ClaimID. These sites are static; you upload your profile for hiring authorities to review. RECOMMENDATION: Google + 1 other.

The greatest thing about Google profiles is that they almost always come up first when someone searches for you on Google. LinkedIn is almost always second.

Three important rules to optimize your online identity:

Rule #1: Be consistent. If you're an expert in supply chain and captured $2+ million in savings, be sure that all of your career communications brand you similarly – as the supply chain professional who saves money.

Rule #2: The key to success in social networking is WHO you know. Join online communities where the people you want to know belong, read what they're talking about, and enter the conversation when you have something valuable to contribute.

Rule #3: Update your profiles and online identity tools frequently; at a minimum, monthly or quarterly to enhance your SEO (search engine optimization).