Do You Own Your Own Name? Or does someone else?

Oct 13 2010 in Job Search Strategy, Networking/Social Networking, reCareered Blog, social branding by Phil Rosenberg

job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career advice

Who owns your name? If you haven’t claimed it, it might not be you. Learn why you need to claim your own name if you’re a job seeker, and what can happen if you don’t …

It’s easy to say “this will never happen to me” … but unless you are the only person in the entire world with your name, it will happen to you. Maybe it already has.

My name is a little less common than Jim Smith and I’m pretty savvy with social media … and it happened to me.

It happened to me a couple of years ago. There was this new website and I just couldn’t see how it could possibly benefit me. It seemed like it was just a bunch of kids playing games. About a year passed until I decided to invest some time into testing it out. But when I went to register, I found that @philrosenberg was already taken, by the VP of Gaming for Sony, who shares my name.

So on Linkedin, I’m philrosenberg …
on Facebook, I’m philrosenberg …
on Google, I’m philrosenberg …

… but on Twitter, I’m @philreCareered .

And I’m lucky. Imagine who could have taken the name. A convicted felon, a drug dealer, who knows?

This is a minor inconvenience for me. Here’s a more interesting example – read about this woman who couldn’t figure out why she had come in 2nd place for a job 35 times (yes, 35!) and wrote me asking if it was ageism. See what happened when I Googled her by name at http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-am-i-always-2nd-or-3rd-question-of.html. I laughed so hard, I was crying.

So what should you do about this?

There are hundreds of social media sites – which ones should you care about?

Fortunately, there aren’t too many that are critical. But there are 4 that are an absolute must to own your name, and 6 others that are a good idea also.

Must haves for job seekers:

  1. Google: Surprisingly, not a lot of people know that they can register their own name on Google. Grab yours while you still can
  2. Linkedin: Linkedin gets about 10x more traffic than Monster – it is now the world’s most popular job site
  3. Facebook: With 500 million people on Facebook, if you haven’t already claimed your name … you may be too late
  4. Twitter: Don’t let what happened to me, happen to you also

You don’t even have to use these sites right away. Maybe you’re not looking for a job now, but chances are that you will look for one at some point in the future. If you wait, it may be too late.

Nice to have name ownership for job seekers, especially if yours is already taken in the top 4:

  1. Plaxo: Plaxo is a smaller version of Linkedin, but more of an online business card and contact synchronizer
  2. MySpace: Your name may still be available and MySpace can get you on page 1 of Google
  3. ZoomInfo: Online business directory
  4. Spoke: Online business directory
  5. Jigsaw: Online business directory
  6. Yahoo & Hotmail: Yahoo’s name registration has been around as long as Yahoo Mail – You may be too late

Ok, it’s a way out there example, but what if your name is Jim Smith, you’re an accountant and if none of the sites listed above have your name available? What can you do?

The fail safes:

  1. Blogger: He was killed in 1994, so he probably doesn’t own http://jimsmithcpa.blogspot.com – and it’s free
  2. WordPress.com: Just in case he blogger is taken – it’s free too
  3. Your own website: If you own http://jamessmithcpa.com you can manage it so that it will appear on page 1 of Google under certain searches, so you’re not confused with the Representative from South Carolina. You could also use http://jamessmith.biz or http://jamessmith.info which are also both open.

You don’t have to write very much in these and can just post links to interesting news stories (better yet, articles about your industry). That may be enough to have you found of the first page of Google, rather than the scoundrel that shares your good name.

Even if you’re not in job search mode now, take an hour and claim your name … so someone else doesn’t get there first.

Readers – Do you have any interesting stories about how someone else shared your name and was found on page 1 of Google? Has it ever damaged your job opportunity?

Recruiters – How about you? Have you ever had a candidate who wasn’t hired due to a Google search that uncovered information about someone else with the same name?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at http://ResumeWebinar.com .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at http://reCareered.com/newsletter/

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/philrosenberg
Follow reCareered on Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/company/recareered.com
Like reCareered on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reCareered
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+: http://gplus.to/philrosenberg
Follow reCareered on Twitter: http://twitter.com/philreCareered
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/e/gis/1800872

Source: http://reCareered.com
Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

Who Really Owns Your Linkedin/Facebook/Twitter Account? Who really owns your social networking accounts - You or your employer (or ex-employer)? You might be...
Career Advice – How Does It Feel To Be Inventory? And What Can You Do About It? You’re inventory. At least that’s what you look like to a recruiter. Good news, however … you...
Three Items Employers Look For In Resumes Have you submitted a resume and wondered why you didn’t even get a call, when you felt that you...
Interview Road Kill – “I haven’t done it, but I can learn” Ever respond to an interview question, by saying "I haven't done it, but I can learn"?OUCH…I can feel...