Today on CNN, CareerBuilder.com writer Rachel Zupek posted an article called ‘Digital dirt’ can haunt your job search. Zupek says that many employers search Google right before or after an interview, and the search results can either have a good impact or disastrous one, depending on what they yield.
Zupek offered several tips to controlling what results come up in Google, and although most of them are helpful, I think a big one is missed.
Owning a website on the .com domain name of your full (and/or nickname used on your resume) can be very helpful in propelling the information you want seen to the top of the results. For most people, chances are very good that there isn’t much competition for your exact name in Google or Bing. As a result, if you have a blog – or even a site listing your accomplishments or anything else you’d want a potential employer to see, there’s a good chance that your exact match domain name and website will come up first.
I am sure an employer will see that you own it and control what’s put down, so while it might not be as impactful as a positive review or comment from a third party, it will help move down any bad results from the top ten.
I own about 10 “toddmintz” domain names for this very purpose (though ownership has other value as well). Also, realize that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FriendFeed & many other “membership” sites will serve the same purpose (assuming the content is professional).
In 2005 I started hosting a blog on blogger.com called Mitch-TV. It’s been a great way to compile all of the articles and information relating to my specific industry (advertising) and it’s been an awesome way for me to self-promote.
Having an online presence has been helpful to me when introducing myself to new potential customers and/or employers.