Improve your personal SEO for better job prospects
In one of my classes at university we were given the terrifying instruction to ‘Google Yourself and see what comes up’. As a budding journalist my digital presence is a sore topic. I want to be riding gloriously atop Google’s searches, looking down on lesser mortals with a superior sneer. Some of my classmates, through unique names and strategic work experience placements, could claim this position. I, however, could not.
This is what it looked like:
Google Search: Patrick Scott
Unfortunately Patrick Scott is not an especially unique name and I was trumped by an Irish artist. The orange lines show an indirect reference to me on LinkedIn but it isn’t until the 6th entry that something directly relating to me, my student newspaper writer’s page, popped up.
I don’t have a poor digital presence but, as you can see, it is not particularly impressive (hence this blog) in the sense of a Google search. You might think that this is irrelevant but, when it comes to applying for jobs and the like, employers are more and more likely to plonk your name into Google to see what comes up. When this happens it would be comforting to know that you are featuring fairly high up in the Google rankings.
If, like me, you are not a big dawg on the SEO scene there is one really easy thing you can do to remedy it: subtly change your name.
So, instead of being ‘Patrick Scott’, I am now ‘Patrick E Scott’. The inclusion of a middle initial immediately makes your name more unique and consequently makes you appear higher in a Google search.
When changing your internet name it is important to be uniform across all the platforms you appear on. This can be tricky to co-ordinate, however, if you go to http://namechk.com/ you can type in your chosen moniker and it will let you know where it is available. I did this and am now @Patrick_E_Scott on Twitter and Patrick E Scott on Instagram, Tumblr, Strikingly, IFTTT and arguably most importantly LinkedIn. Most people don’t lock down their LinkedIn URL so, if you can do it, it could be really beneficial.
I also went back and changed the names on articles I had written to Patrick E Scott.
The Result (So Far)
Google Search Patrick E Scott
As you can see from the picture above you can actually make quite a big impact on your personal SEO in a relatively short space of time. Now I appear in 3 of the top 4 search results (4 of the top 4 if you search for Patrick_E_Scott) as well as my Strikingly page appearing at number 9 on the list.
My next target is to get a picture of me up there too.
Remember to also change your name on your CV or else employers won’t know what to look for.
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