Companies invest millions of dollars every year to market themselves. The average cost of a 30 second ad during the Super bowl is $4.5 million dollars. Why are businesses willing to spend that much? The answer is simple: Return on Investment. Companies believe that in the long-run, the money that they invested for that 30 second spot will come back to increase their overall profit. Your mindset should be the same as you are in the process of finding your career.

So how about you? How can you make yourself stand out from other candidates for that job you really want? We live in an information world where anything is accessible with a few strokes on the keyboard and the click of a mouse. You need to protect your online presence. Here are some tips to improve your personal “brand reputation” in the digital age.

1) Privacy Settings on Social Media

Companies like Facebook and Google are making a huge effort to create privacy settings in a language that you can understand. Take advantage of this. Spend some time, go through your social media accounts, and conduct an audit on yourself. As you go through your pictures and posts, put yourself in the position of a hiring manager. If you were a hiring manager and saw one of your college Facebook posts, would you hire you?

2)  Advanced Search Operators on Google

Only a small percentage of the population knows that you can take Google to the next level by using what is known as “advanced search operators”. Let’s say you’re a company that sells trade show displays. You are looking to find a list of conferences in a particular state so you can ramp up your marketing efforts to businesses that may need your services in that area. Using advanced search operators, you could do a search like the following to get the information you need:

conference intitle: “New York”

This would return results that were focused on conferences that included “New York” in the title of the page.

Think of all the ways you can use these tricks to both find potential jobs and find all the information about you that exists out there on the web. Here is another example:

site:indeed.com intitle:”accounting” Boston

The previous operator would show pages on Indeed that include “accounting” in their title with a focus on Boston.

For a full list of these search operators, visit this page: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?hl=en

3)  Optimize Your Name in Search

I would strongly recommend creating a social profile on all of the major reputable websites. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. Take bits and pieces of your resume and scatter them throughout all the sites. If a recruiter searches your name, and is greeted with social profiles that show your enthusiasm for life and the industry you are applying to, you will have a huge leg up on the competition. Also, don’t forget to post regularly to show you stay current. More and more companies are looking are the number of followers you have, the content of your posts, and overall engagement of your page to see if you would be a good cultural fit in their firm.

Bonus: Include a Link to the Search Results for Your Name on Your Resume

How refreshing would this be! Instead of making the recruiter work to find out information on your history and background, give it to them on a silver platter! If you used the tips in this post, you will have a strong online presence that you will want to share with future employers!

Summary

Marketing yourself is important. It starts by taking the time to audit what you currently have out there on the web, and then finding new opportunities to optimize. Guess what, you won’t even need $4.5 million dollars to do so!

Author Bio: Scott is a professional marketer with 5 years of experience in optimizing brands on the web. He has a passion for writing, staying up on tech trends, and drinking coffee. A LOT of coffee!

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Recommended Links:

Resume Writing EBook
Straight Talk from a Recruiter: Resume Writing Strategies and Easy To Follow Techniques
(Kindle Edition)

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