I am somewhere in the middle: digitally dabbling.  This is according to the results of this Online Identity Calculator I used earlier today to assess my online identity.  This article by Meg Guiseppi, CPBS, MRW, CPRW  of Executive Career Brand (as posted on www.workbabble.com) tells you why you too should find out how you rate, and do it regularly. And while Meg focusses on executives, when you are a business owner it is very important to test your company’s online rating regularly as well.

In executive job search, having accurate, brand-supporting search results associated with you is essential. Recruiters and hiring decision makers rely on online searches to uncover and qualify candidates like you.

If they can’t find you online, they may never find you, and you may miss the chance to be considered for those jobs.

Conversely, if they find anything to discredit you, you’re probably dead in the water, too. But don’t worry. You can work to build up positive results which will push those disreputable ones down to page 3, 4, or lower of results for your name, rendering them ineffectual. But remember that nothing on the Web is ever permanently deleted.

William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson, Reach Personal Branding founders, broke out 5 possible online profiles in their book Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand:

Digitally disguised

Your vanity search does not match any web pages. There is absolutely nothing about you on the Web – you have no online identity. You’re hidden from those who may be looking for you.

Digitally dissed

There is little on the Web about you, and what is there is either negative or inconsistent with how you want to be known – your personal brand.

Digitally disastrous

You have plenty of search results, but they have little relevance to what you want to express about yourself. Results for others sharing your name may be in the mix, too.

Digitally dabbling

There are some on-brand results for you. Even though there aren’t many results, the information about you is relevant and on-brand – nothing negative. From here, you can easily move to the next level.

Digitally distinct

There are lots of results about you that reinforce your brand – the right message about you is out there. This is the nirvana of online identity! You’re among or approaching the superstars in the world of online identity. But your work isn’t done. Google results can (and do) change overnight. You need to keep an eye on your online identity and keep building up the good stuff. There’s always room for improvement.

To quickly run your own digital check-up, try the Reach Personal Branding’s Online Identity Calculator. It’s a nifty little tool to assess how strong your online presence is.

When you take the quiz, you’ll be asked to type “your name” in a Google search and note the total number of search results, how many are NOT about you, and how many accurate, on-brand results ARE about you in the first 3 pages.

Among the 7 questions provided, you’re asked which statement best describes the career level for which you are aiming:

■   University/College Student or Recent Graduate

■   Entry-level (1-5 years’ experience) or Individual Contributor

■   Manager with 5-10 years’ experience, Director, Consultant or Small Business Owner

■   VP, Highly-regarded Consultant or Acknowledged Thought Leader

■   C-level Executive, Partner, Board Member, Celebrity, Renowned Consultant or Expert

When you submit your answers, your digital ranking compared to the expected number of accurate results for the career level you chose is revealed – digitally disastrous, digitally distinct, or somewhere in between.

The quiz is free and takes about 5 minutes to complete. The results can be eye-opening and impel you to get busy. And if you “pass” the quiz, you’ll be given the code for the “I’m digitally distinct” badge shown above to place on your website or blog.

Need some help building your online brand identity and positioning your unique value proposition? Check out my posts:

The Personal Branding Worksheet: 10 Steps to Defining Your Authentic Personal Brand

Health Insurance for Your Personal Brand – The 3 Cs

2010 Top 10 Executive Personal Branding and Job Search Trends

© Copyright Meg Guiseppi, 2010. All rights reserved. Used with permission from www.workbabble.com

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