Why you need to Google yourself every month and other job hunting tips from Amanda Augustine at TopCV

Amanda Augustine is the resident career advice expert for TopCV, the largest CV-writing service in the world. She is a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) and resume writer (CPRW) with over 10 years of experience in the recruiting and careers industry.

Amanda’s passion is helping professionals of all ages and stages improve their careers and find the right job sooner by providing practical, tactical job-seeking advice. Here she shares some of her top job-hunting tips with us.

Why is it important to Google yourself?

First of all, you’re not alone if you don’t. Over half of the UK population never Google themselves.These days, though, it’s not enough for job seekers to have a well-crafted CV and cover letter.

Recruiters also want to evaluate candidates based on their online presence. In fact, according to a study carried out by employment site CV-Library, one-third of recruiters admit to regularly ‘stalking’ candidates online to gauge their employability.

It’s vital for job seekers to carefully monitor their online brand to ensure it improves, rather than worsens, their chances of landing the job. This all starts with a simple Google.

If I’ve Googled myself and nothing comes up, do I really have to do it again?

Yes! The internet may not be technically alive, but it is rapidly growing every second. In fact, it’s estimated that there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day.

And, while most of us won’t garner anywhere near as many online mentions as Kylie Jenner, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t monitor our online reputation with care in case something new – good or bad – pops up.

Google your name once a month to play it safe. Or better yet, set up a Google News Alert so any new results to pop up will automatically get sent to your inbox.

If you do find something bad on Google, what should you do next?

If your Google search unearths some unflattering results, reach out to the website and submit a request to have the article or page taken down or your name removed. If that doesn’t work, you can try to ‘push down’ negative results by getting your name mentioned on other web pages for the right reasons.

Consider creating additional professional profiles online, starting a blog, personal website or Twitter feed related to your line of work or becoming more involved with relevant professional organisations. As these new results get clicked on and shared, they’ll start to take the place of the older content.

Also, avoid clicking multiple times on the negative article or sending it around to your friends and family. The more clicks it gets, the higher it will rise in Google’s search results.

If you find something online that’s really damaging, consider using a personal reputation management service like IgniyteReputation Repair or Pure Reputation. These services can cost anywhere from a few hundred pounds to much more, depending on your needs. Speak with an associate before making any purchases.

And finally, do you have any other tips for women applying for a job for the first time in a while?

Yes, there are five important things I recommend.

1) Re-evaluate your goals

Are you planning to re-enter the same industry and career track, or are you considering a new direction? Before you launch into your job search, take a little time to carefully consider your job goals.

You may find that the job you held previously no longer has the same appeal or that the amount of travel required in your previous role isn’t realistic now that you have a young child at home. Take stock of your skills and experience to identify the type of job you’d like to pursue this time round.

2) Fill in your CV gaps

Just because you haven’t received a payslip in a while doesn’t mean you haven’t gained skills worth mentioning on your CV.

Whether you managed a team of volunteers for a school fundraiser or oversaw a home improvement project, don’t discount the valuable experience you’ve gained while managing the household and caring for your family.

If you’re looking for opportunities to fill your current employment gap, search for skill-based volunteer opportunities on sites like Reach Volunteering and CharityJob that will allow you to sharpen your professional skills while helping a good cause.

3) Make networking a priority

Research has shown you’re 10 times more likely to land a job when your application is accompanied by a referral. In addition, a survey by Alumnifire found that 90% of hiring managers would prefer to hire a fellow alum, if given the opportunity.

So make a concerted effort to reconnect with former colleagues, clients, vendors and alumni who work in your industry.

4) Leverage your personal relationships

Don’t discount your personal connections during the job hunt. Whether you’re cheering in the stands at your son’s rugby match or leading the local blood drive, family activities are networking goldmines.

Use these opportunities to get to get to know the parents of your children’s friends and teammates. You’d be amazed at who you could meet at your child’s play or swim lesson.

5) Catch up on your trade

Subscribe to relevant online publications and set up Google News Alerts on the major players in your field and other industry terms to get a pulse on the news and trends in your line of work. This will not only help you when you’re networking, but it will also provide some insight into job market and where the best opportunities may be found.

You can learn more about TopCV on their website.