Tom Peters, the American Management Guru said: “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of
us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be the head marketer for the brand called you”.
A while ago, I read an article by Lekan Otufodunrin of the nation newspaper, with a rather captivating title: Be Warned, You can be 'Googled'. After reading it. I decided to test the efficacy of his claims, I therefore googled my name. Simply, I saw everything about me, even things I'd forgotten about. How? Mostly via facebook.
Have you ever tried to google yourself? You may be amazed at what you see if you try. Certain things you may have completely forgotten about suddenly resurfaces.
Let me try to paint you a scenario: during an interview for a job you desperately want (your dream job), you manage to convince your interviewer how good and responsible a person you are and how he will be lucky to have you working for his company, you prove to him how incredibly smart you are and how superbly you can handle pressure situations.
He falls in love with you, he's impressed by your finesse, poise, charm and charisma. So at the end of the interview, he decides to check you up through google. Fortunately for him (most probably unfortunately for you), he stumbles upon your facebook page (is it safe to say you're finished?) and finds those semi naked pictures of you, amazing. And there you were telling him about responsibility. It's almost certain you won't get the job at the end of the day.
What do search engines say about us? Is our public image safe and employer friendly? We cannot totally be offline, the necessity of having a healthy online presence cannot be over-emphasized, this is after all the 21st century.
Fact however remains, not all internet publicity is good enough publicity. Having a ridiculous e-mail address on your resume for instance, does not paint the best picture of you to your potential employer, and I'm sure we all know what I mean by a ridiculous e-mail address. We need to clean up our e-presence, for our own good.
Fact is, it's extremely scary how much search engines can tell about us, whether it's right or wrong is another discussion for another day, what is even more scary is how often potential employers search online to see if they can get a peek at their potential employees. Do you blame them??
It therefore may not be totally a bad idea to try and clean up your online profile, it's worth it, since it has the ability to impact your career.
If at the moment, you're a job-seeker, and you've been getting negative responses from companies, chances are, your facebook profile picture is the one where you were in a party and your friends were pouring bottles of heineken on you, or the one where you were wearing that extremely revealing, PG18 outfit. It's probably time to take those down.
If however, you are not yet a job seeker, probably a student, maybe you still have some time.
The importance of branding yourself cannot be overemphasized. Therefore brand yourself wisely, don't let your online personality give a wrong impression to a potential employer.
Till next time,, Keep dreaming!!