As we discussed in a previous article, the majority of employers will do a search for you online before hiring you -- and before even calling you for an interview. An easy way to manage your online presence is to use a personal landing page, often called a nameplate website.
Just about everyone with an Internet connection is probably already familiar with about.me, a personal homepage service that was purchased by AOL in 2010.
Perhaps the website's greatest asset is the name itself. Using the link "about.me/myname" is both a logical place for hiring managers to click first and is easy to remember.
If you haven't taken a good look at about.me in the last year or so, you might want to take another look. The service allows you to upload your own background image, add links to your most important websites and social media services, as well as customize the page's appearance. The about.me blog has some stunning examples of how others are using it.
Expect to spend at least a half hour getting set up on about.me. The most visible aspect of the page will be your background image. You can upload an image from your computer or use a photo you already have on Instagram. For best results you should select a high resolution image of up to 5 MB. You can also upload a smaller bio photo of yourself when adding your biography.
Once your basic page is set up, you can add apps that connect to your social media pages like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or your blog.
Vizify.com is a new website that launched in July 2012. Rather than relying on a static background image, it presents visitors with a dynamic series of web links directing users to your most important websites and social media pages. The service attracted 17,000 members in its first ten days, according to Arwa Jumkawala, Vizify's Director of Marketing.
"They're not using it as a CV or resume replacement," Jumkawala said during a telephone interview, "but as a supplement. A number of users have told us they have had interviews because of it."
To see how the service works, you can visit Todd Silverstein's Vizify page, who is Portland company's CEO and co-founder.
Two of the ways people use the Vizify is as a replacement for a personal home page or as a link to give prospective employers when applying for a job.
The majority of users, she said, are those who already have a social media presence on websites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. This includes people in technical careers like software development and graphic design, as well as social media marketers, writers and artists.
To get started with Vizify, you need an invitation code. If no one has sent you one yet, you can request one. Posting a link on Facebook, Twitter, or both, will speed up the process and you will probably get a code within a day. Once you get the invitation code you will immediately be asked to authenticate the service with
Does it Help?
Making it easy for hiring managers to find you online and directing them to the content you want them to see first, certainly won't hurt your chances at getting that first interview. Websites like Vizify and About.me give you a way to take control of your online brand, curate it and present it in the way you would prefer it to be seen.
Earlier this year, Vizify did a survey of over 200 hiring managers across different business sectors.
"Ninety-six percent either do a social media search or web search on your name before they bring you in for an interview," Arwa Jumkawala said.
Of course, this isn't limited to job interviews. "People are looking you up online all the time," Jumkawala said. "Even if you're looking for a date, you're going to get Googled before that first date."