Many job seekers have described to me that submitting a resume in today’s job market is mostly a banging-their-head-against-a-wall, extremely frustrating waste of time.
You want that resume to get you into an interview, but it doesn’t. I think this could be why:
80% of employers
Google job seekers
before inviting them
into an interview! *
If employers don’t find something good and solid, that agrees with the resume – a LinkedIn Profile is perfect for this – you aren’t invited in for an interview.
Interviewing job candidates is very expensive for an employer to do (2nd only to the cost of hiring the wrong candidate)! Consequently, employers use Google searches to try to avoid those expensive mistakes.
The resume-submission-to-interview-invitation process typically runs through these 4 steps:
Step 1. Resumes are received and screened into two groups (“possibles” and “no”).
Step 2. Someone opens up a browser, and begins Googling the “possibles” which are then screened into three groups (“more likely” and “less likely” and “no”) based on what is discovered – or NOT discovered.
Step 3. The “more likelys” are compared. Phone interviews (a.k.a. ”phone screens”) may be conducted.
Step 4. Invitations to interview are extended, and the real dance begins.
When nothing, or nothing good, is found about you, you end up in the “less likely” or “no” piles in step 2.
What Should Job Seekers Do in Response?
The good news is that job seekers can influence what is found in this process.
In addition, your participation will not only help you survive the Googling, it will also increase your “market value” and the size of your networks.
1. Google yourself!
Look at the first 3 or 4 pages to see what is visible to an employer about you.
DO NOT be happy if they find nothing about you on Google! That means either of two things to most employers – you don’t know how the world works today (so you are out-of-date) or you are hiding something. Neither of those two impressions will help you in your job search.
Then, practice Defensive Googling for the rest of your job search (and career).
2. Google anyone well-known and well-respected in your field.
What does Google show on the first page of search results? Assuming it doesn’t show things like TIME magazine cover stories, a feature in The New York Times, a 60 MINUTES segment, and other similar high profile media mentions, carefully look at what you find. I bet you could also get visibility in most, if not all, of those venues!
If you Google me, you’ll find:
- My LinkedIn Profile
- My Google+ Profile (naturally!)
- My Job-Hunt.org bio (a 2000-page website I’ve owned and edited since 1998)
- My VisualCV
- My Amazon Profile
- My Business Week Business Exchange Profile
- My Twitter Bio
Except for the Job-Hunt.org bio, all of those profiles are available for everyone at no cost. And all of those Profiles describe me in my own words, because I wrote them! And because I made them public for the world, including my family and friends, to see, the assumption is that they’re probably true, at least for the most part.
3. Read my Reputation Management (or Recovery) Post
You can manage this issue. It takes time to set up and develop, but once you have, it will take only an hour or two a week to maintain (assuming minimal participation). When you are in job search mode, you will be spending more time on this issue because it is so important to your job search.
4. Get busy working on your public image.
It’s not just for movie and TV stars and musicians any more. We’re all famous, at least a little, and the sooner you get started managing your public persona, the better off you will be. If you prefer, think of it as “personal branding.” The greater your positive online visibility, the better your online reputation, and the greater the likelihood that you will have a response to your resume the next time you submit it to an appropriate opportunity.
Not Optional Any Longer
This post is in reaction to a discussion I had with a job seeker who is desperate for a job, but very reluctant to put herself “out there” online. Making matters worse, she is looking for a job in marketing. Anyone in marketing or sales today MUST demonstrate that they understand how the online marketplace works, so she is really hampering her job search. I hope she reads this and overcomes her fear of online visibility.
Good luck with your job search!
* This 2010 Microsoft-funded study is the source of the 80% statistic. I think that the percentage has surpassed 80% of employers in the nearly 3 full years since that study was released, based on countless conversations I’ve had with recruiters and employers. If it hasn’t hit 100% yet, it will very soon!
For More Information About Online Reputation Management:
Social Proof: LinkedIn to Your Resume (Job-Hunt.org)
Defensive Googling (Job-Hunt.org)
© Copyright, 2012, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.
About the author…
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 2011, NETability purchased WorkCoachCafe.com, which Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then. Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.