Job Seekers – Give Yourself an Online Edge from Julia Bradley of Ziggs.com

By Wednesday, December 17, 2008 0 No tags Permalink 0

Julia Bradley handle media relations at Ziggs.com, a professional networking website. She also writes The Buzz at Ziggs which focuses on building your online brand and tips for job seekers.

Giving yourself an online competitive edge in today’s difficult job market can make all the difference in your ability to secure an interview as well as capture the job. Here’s why….

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that “you’re a nobody unless your name Googles well.” That may be a bit extreme, but the fact remains that more than 80% of executive recruiters say they routinely use search engines to learn more about candidates, according to a recent survey by executive networking firm ExecuNet. According to BusinessWeek, 35% of executive recruiters who use the internet to review prospects say they have eliminated candidates based on what they’ve found online, up from 26% the prior year. This means that search engine results for your name can potentially either make or break your reputation online, especially during a job search. Taking control of your own online reputation is thus critical for job seekers.

Fortunately, thanks to numerous free online services, you can take control of your online image in preparation for a job search quickly and easily today. Here are a few tips to consider.

1. Highlight Your Unique Value in an Online Profile
According to CNN Money, more than a fifth of the Fortune 500, including blue-chip names like Pfizer, Sony and Microsoft use Ziggs.com (among others such as LinkedIn) as part of their recruiting process. Therefore, we recommend creating a free professional online profile at Ziggs, a professional networking site, if you don’t have one already. Your profile can be used to present your bio, your resume, work experience and contributions, a self-written interview, links to online work and interests, and up to six professional photos. Once your Ziggs Profile is ready for business, begin using it when you network by including a link in your email footer and by emailing it in advance of networking meetings or interviews. This gives you an edge over candidates without one. In time, your Ziggs Profile will gradually rise in search results for your name in Google and other search engines, due to the high page rank value that Ziggs.com maintains on the web. For those who need top visibility in search results for their name within 48 hours, Ziggs can help with that too.

2. Give Yourself Top Credibility
Since you now realize that you will be googled often during your job search, you’ll want to position your Ziggs Profile in a top-listed, above-the-fold position across every major search engine. When recruiters or hiring managers search and find your highly professional profile – your credibility is only strengthened. Ziggs offers a service that will catapult your name with a link to your Ziggs Profile in a top-listed spot, above the fold in Google search results for $4.95/month. You’ll be up in Google within 48 hours of purchasing the service at Ziggs.com, so keep that timing in mind as you begin networking or interviewing. If you’re super tech savvy, you can also do this yourself (with more effort) using Google’s AdSense service. Ziggs even lets you buy your name online as a domain name (www.[YourNameHere].com). Ziggs can instantly link your online profile to your domain name, giving you one more way to get top visibility on the web.

3. Know When Potential Employers Review You Online
Do you ever feel that each resume you submit gets lost in the proverbial black hole of corporate HR? Well, you’re not alone. There’s a new solution to help you avoid that black hole feeling. By including a link to your Ziggs Profile in your e-resume and email signature, when you apply for a position, and your Ziggs Profile is viewed by that employer, Ziggs instantly notifies you that your profile has been viewed. Ziggs’ real-time email alerts measure how often employers review your profile – giving you visibility into activity from employers in response to your job search. Ziggs can tell you what time your Ziggs Profile was viewed, what city in the world the viewer is based, as well as any keywords used to find it. Obviously this free tracking service from Ziggs only works when someone clicks and views your Ziggs Profile, but with thoughtful placement of your Ziggs Profile, you can know a bit more about how often you’re being found and viewed online during your job search and beyond.

Combined, these steps help give any job searcher a competitive edge in their quest for their next position.

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