Companies are turning more frequently to the Web for researching prospective employees. So it becomes your job as students and applicants to point them in the right direction. I’ve outlined several basic steps students can take to make their own Internet footprint.
One of the easiest ways to move your name to the top of Google search results is to create a LinkedIn profile, and networking is a key component of landing that killer job or internship. Create a profile, make connections and get some written recommendations. The more people who recognize your name, the better the likelihood they’ll remember you when you come knocking on the door looking for a job.
Creating other social profiles in addition to LinkedIn will also push your name higher up in search results. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are good places to start. But don’t just create the profiles and then leave them alone. Interact with your network by blogging, posting videos, sharing content and commenting. The more you interact, the larger your network will grow.
One caveat of entering the social Web stream is that most of what you say falls into the public domain, which means prospective employers can see it. So be smart about what you’re posting. This especially goes for Facebook and Twitter. If you’d rather your new boss didn’t read about how drunk you got last night, perhaps you should consider making those Facebook updates private.
Bringing your networks into a central location is also key, and a personal website will help you do that. If you’re lucky, and have a fairly uncommon name, you can probably get yourname.com with relative ease. Having a personal blog and a place to round up your social life stream is a great way to tell prospective employers you’re serious about your personal brand.