It was not all that long ago that the idea of searching for yourself in Google seemed no more than a novelty for most people. But today, every professional should at least know what happens when they are Googled. Here are some reasons why:
Resumes and CVs are important, but so is what you look like on the web.
There is so much importance put onto developing a solid resume. How does the font look? Is there an objective? How many pages is it? But for some reason so little attention is paid to how you look in a web browser.
There is a huge gap in how most professionals are presented on the web. For some people, you can find massive amounts of information and for others, nothing. Whichever side of the spectrum you are on, it’s worth knowing. If you think someone who is seriously interested in hiring you, or choosing your proposal, is not willing to take a few minutes to search your name, you would be wrong.
Google is how people find out more about you.
Same premise as the last thought but to a greater extent. Not everyone has your resume. Maybe someone saw a presentation you made, ran into you at a conference, or had just heard your name. Google is one of the first places people go to find out about other people, shouldn’t you know what they will find.
If you don’t know, you can’t do anything about it.
If you search for your name, and like what you find, than there is very little need to do anything else. If you are invisible, or the information you find is outdated or wrong, it’s time to take action.
The web is mysterious and you do not have total control, but you do have some control. Go on the offensive and create profiles on sites that do a very good job of making information about people searchable in Google (Google Profiles, LinkedIn, Facebook). While this does not take away old information or misdirections it does provide a solid, reputable way for people to find out information about you.