You applied to a few awesome sports jobs that fit you perfectly. You contacted the employer and followed up on your application.
Now, you wait.
While you’re waiting, hiring managers, HR professionals, and recruiters are actively looking for more information about you. But what happens when they can’t find you online? Or worse, if they find those pictures of you in college?
Unsurprisingly, your online presence matters to many employers. In fact, Jobvite’s 2016 Recruiter Nation survey found that 47 percent of recruiters view photos of alcohol consumption negatively on social media.
What’s more off-putting to them? Nearly three out of four recruiters view typos negatively.
The point is, you need to learn the basics of managing your personal online visibility. After all, to attract potential employers, you want a positive, authentic version of you to show up on Google.
This is where personal search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. You need to create content attached to your professional name so employers can see your talent and knowledge in action online.
Check out these five easy steps to managing your personal SEO:
1. Buy Your Domain
Employers use the name you give on your resume and application to search Google and other search engines. So if your name on your resume is John Smith, buy the domain ‘JohnSmith.com.’
This way, as you add content and boost your page ranking, your site is one of the first results to pop up. There are several great resources where you can go to buy a domain with your name. GoDaddy, Wix, and DreamHost are among the most popular.
If ‘yourname.com’ isn’t available, consider .net or other TLDs. You can also add relevant information to your URL, such as keywords you want to be associated with. For example, if you’re an attorney, try variations like ‘JohnSmithLawyer.com.’
2. Build Your Website
Once you own your domain, it’s time to start optimizing it. To start, you want to build some SEO friendly pages.
For example, every website has an ‘about me’ page. In order to rank that page with your name, title it ‘About Your Name.’ This way, when employers search your name, it is more likely to rank in the results.
3. Research Industry Keywords
Next, you want to identify top keywords and phrases that are relevant to your industry. So if you’re applying to specific sports jobs, like scouting, then determine what employers looking for scouts are searching for.
Top keywords may include job titles, company names, skills, industry buzzwords, and certifications. Build a list of what you want to rank for so you can create content around them.
Let’s say you’re looking for sports jobs in analytics. Your keywords could include sabermetrics, sports data, web scraping, sports economics, and database management.
4. Maintain Your Online Resume
With industry keywords in mind, you should be maintaining a resume through your online presence. When you communicate about your past experiences, they need to align. Otherwise, employers may find it suspicious that you’re claiming different accomplishments.
Make sure your LinkedIn matches your professional website and online resume. Then, focus on maintaining it throughout your job search. Highlight the most relevant, valuable experience.
If you don’t have much job experience in sports jobs, you can highlight transferable skills and create content about how you’re gaining experience.
Write about how you’re freelancing on the side or expanding your sports knowledge by attending networking events. Also, only share your perspective on trends, reports, and other sports-related news.
5. Create Keyword-Rich Content
Expand your online visibility by creating a blog and linking it to your website and social media profiles. When you’re developing content ideas, refer to the keywords you want to rank for.
Create content that is educational and establishes you as an expert in your field. However, don’t forget to be authentic to yourself and show off your personality.
Employers want to see beyond your expertise. As Jobvite’s 2016 Recruiter Nation survey found, 60 percent of recruiters rate cultural fit as high importance. Show them that your personality aligns with their culture.
When you manage your personal SEO and produce awesome content, you’re boosting your chances of impressing potential employers and landing one of the sports jobs of your dreams.
How are you managing your online presence during your search for sports jobs?