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So, you’ve researched and applied for your dream job!  Woo hoo!

You customized and sent out an impressive resume and cover letter to meet the job description.  You even networked your way into the company and scrubbed clean your Facebook page.  

Now you can sit back and wait for that call, right? 

Wrong.

Right about now, the hiring manager has dug your resume out from the pile and is smiling at your impressive credentials. Earlier in the day, she had received a call from a coworker who said you would be perfect for the job and would “love to have you on our team.” She checks off your relevant work experience, technical skills and education required for the position. Excellent. She’s optimistic that perhaps her long hiring search for this position will be over. 



Congrats! You have been promoted from a faceless resume to a strong job candidate. The hiring manager then turns to her laptop and types your name into the Google screen. 


Oops.  Did you forget to Google yourself?

There’s a convicted felon with the same name as yours who pops up with lots of Google entries. After confirming that this person is not you, she keeps paging through Google searching for any evidence that you exist online. Page two and three have a few entries that could possibly be you, but it’s hard to tell and one of them is not appropriate. Around page six, the hiring manager realizes that she’s late for a meeting and that she’s spent too long on this one resume. You become just another resume again, back in the pile with a note at top saying “??? Online Presence.”

According to a 2010 Microsoft survey of US recruiters and human resource professionals, 75% of those surveyed reported that their companies have formal policies in place that require hiring personnel to research applicants online. 86% of those surveyed stated that a positive online reputation influences the candidate’s application. It’s important in today’s job market to have a strong, positive professional online presence. Hiring managers get inundated with resumes that can blur together unless they are differentiated with a strong online presence. One US Recruiting Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers says, “It’s no longer enough to simply have a solid resume.” You need a strong professional online presence as well.

By now, most of us know that LinkedIn is the easiest way to build and maintain a professional online presence. You sign up (it’s free), create your profile, start making connections and build your network. You can also research people and companies, check job postings, join groups, listen to industry discussions, find industry experts, etc. It really is a remarkable networking and job seeking tool, especially with its member base of nearly 175 million professionals. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the higher your LinkedIn profile will show on a Google search.

Now, what if you could go one step further and provide an easy way for someone to get the results you want them to see in a Google search? Vizibility is an interesting new product that professes to help you the user actually control and deliver your online presence. I had the chance to ask James Alexander, CEO of Vizibility about its benefits to the jobseeker or anyone who wants to control their online reputation and visibility. According to Mr. Alexander, “Vizibility makes it easy for you to share accurate and relevant Google results with recruiters, potential employers, and others looking for information about you.” Yes, Vizibility helps people get found online, but its real value-added is that it delivers the search results prioritized the way you the user want them to be seen. In effect, the Vizibility user can curate and serve up their own Google search in the priority they choose.

Mr. Alexander walked me through a demo of the product and it was impressive. Once the user or jobseeker has created their curated personal Google search results, Vizibility provides a QR code or SearchMe button that links the viewer directly to that jobseeker’s results. The users or jobseekers can place the SearchMe link or QR code on their resumes, signature blocks, presentations, business cards, or any printed or online materials. By placing the SearchMe button or QR code on one’s resume or LinkedIn profile, the job candidate makes it easy for the hiring managers to search relevant information about the job candidate. Creating a SearchMe button and QR code is free and can be updated at any time. Users can also choose to be alerted by text message and/or email when they have been searched online and when their search results have changed. Like LinkedIn, Vizibility has upgraded features that are fee-based, but the basic package is free and useful.

Vizibility clearly states that the search criteria for the SearchMe button and QR code links is a curated search on Google, so the hiring managers understand the targeted nature of the search. It’s the timesaving feature that I think hiring managers will appreciate and I think its use does create a tech-savvy, snappy first impression.

Both LinkedIn and Vizibility are tools that allow you to control and serve up a strong online presence.  That’s key when hiring managers are trying to differentiate you from that pile of resumes.