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Jobhunting Part 3: Working With the Google Index

With Google capturing roughly half of the search engine market share, jobseekers need to be aware of what appears about them in Google’s omnipresent index. With a plethora of articles citing how your online social profile – myspace, friendster or facebook – can have detrimental affects when jobhunting, web users need to be more savvy in attuning their radar to web-based information that can negatively impact on their job hunt. You can’t clear the minefield, but you can lessen its impact by creating a more positive web based persona.

While it is almost impossible to remove sites from Google’s index, here is a strategy that I propose to make your online image more presentable. It involves creating content to generate a more positive online identity. Your first step: create a blog and start posting content. New content is indexed in Google and could counterbalance existing contrary information. At the very least, it expands your online content, and increases the opportunities for positive posts to attain a higher ranking. This essentially amounts to an attempt to re-brand your online identity. Another byproduct of this blog strategy is that it allows you to apply for certain jobs. Yes, some employers have a “no blog no job” policy – Ken previously posted one. A blog gives potential employers the ability to assess how articulate you are, the extent of your written skills, your creativity, or perhaps your sophistication. Your blog compliments your resume.

Your second step: privatize your online profiles. Make your personal information accessible to your network of friends, but make it inaccessible to strangers. Restricting access will stop unwanted information from becoming indexed. Also lock down private sections on your website – like photo albums – so adventurous surfers don’t get there by chance.

Step three: Add to the conversation with insightful comments. By posting comments on articles you participate in online conversations, which allow links back to you personal blog. I cannot tell you how many referrals come from comments I have made. Additionally, comments complement step one, and compliment your rebranding.

Step four: keep up your momentum. Many blogs, podcasts, and interesting websites lose steam over time. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of time you spend online, just be diligent with how you attack the web. If you need, create a roadmap with posting ideas, or invite others to help. Whatever you do, don’t stop posting new content.

These steps, over time, will help replace your previously indexed personality with a new, more job-relevant one. Have any other tips? Post them below.


  1. Dougal Bichan
    Dougal Bichan January 31, 2007

    This is an excellent article. The advice about posting insightful comments is especially valuable.
    Another other important factor is to know what information is online about you. Google yourself regularly. It is like checking your own credit rating.
    The Web has become be a very public and accessible forum. It is important to respect it as you would any public appearance and make your best impression, to protect and further your own “brand”.

  2. Jason Verwey
    Jason Verwey January 31, 2007

    Excellent post Arieh! I would also be interested to hear your thoughts and other’s regarding CV’s… Could make for an interesting segment in your Jobhunting series.
    Other than the typical “how to write a CV” conversation, it would be great to discuss “how to present” your CV.
    – Should you include on your blog (even if you are not currently job seeking)?
    – Should it contain links and interactive components?
    – Should it look like a website?
    – Should you have multiple styles/versions (interactive vs. traditional)?
    These are just a few questions that initially came to mind but I’m sure there are many more you could explore.

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