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How To Be Prepared When Someone Googles You

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You hear that? That’s the could be the sweet sound of opportunity passing you by. But it doesn’t have to be this way. I’m here to help.

Let’s start with a few questions:

  1. Have you sent or will you send an email today?
  2. Have you ever been Googled?
  3. Will you meet someone new this week?

I don’t know you, but based on research, the answer to all of the questions above is a resounding yes.

So what does this have to do with you? A lot. Why? Because there’s this thing called a personal brand. What’s that you might ask? Here’s the best definition I know:

Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not around.

If you send an email, you’re not around. If someone Googles your name, you’re not around. If you meet someone new this week, well, odds are that you are around, but we’ll get to that later.

Bottom line, I want you to own your personal brand. As they say, when you don’t own your personal brand, epic fails can ensue (“they” in this case is me). These “epic fails” include your email being deleted and not responded to; your being embarrassed by Google search results; and you not being memorable or prepared when you meet someone new.

Before you get too worried, just know that I got your back and can help you handle all of these scenarios like a professional.

waheed

How to Ace Email

If you want to stand out from the crowd and get your emails returned, it’s critical to have digital charisma. How can you have digital charisma you ask? Easy, with a free e-mail signature.

With an email signature, you present yourself like a professional when you send email. And, you give people a reason to respond to your email. The reader can learn more about you and how awesome you are with just one click.

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How to Handle Meeting New People

Whether you’re on a college campus, attending a conference or chilling at an afternoon BBQ, odds are that you’re going to meet someone new. You’re going to want to stay in contact with some of these people.

What’s the best way to stay in contact with people and be memorable while doing it? Drop them a quick text message? Good idea, but it’s the wrong answer. When that person looks at their phone later in the day, odds are they won’t really remember you and the context will be gone.

Ok, how about holler at them on social media? Good idea, but again, it’s the wrong answer. Your tweet or Instagram comment will slowly disappear in their feed, as will their memory of you.

The correct answer, be a boss and send them an Intro. Intro is a digital business card app that links to your about.me page. It provides a great photo of you, information about you and where people can find you online.

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How To Handle That Thing When People Google You

It’s inevitable. People are going to Google you. Friends will Google you. Professors will Google you. That person you have a crush on will Google you. That potential employer will Google you. You get the point.

Actually, right now, open up an incognito (private) browser and Google yourself. Seriously.

Are you happy with the results? If you were a person that could change your life, would you want to learn more about you? Does your last tweet, Instagram photo or Facebook update that comes up in those search results make you look like a million bucks?

Wait. Are you one of those people where actually nothing comes up about you (not having a digital identity can be just as bad as having a bad one)? Oh snap! Does someone have your same name but looks nothing like you but they’re all up in the search results when you Google yourself?

Ok, calm down. As mentioned earlier, I got you covered.

All you have do is create a free about.me page. Use a photo that shows who you are; link to all the social places people you want people to find you online; and write a short bio telling the world about yourself. Now, when people Google you, you’ll represent yourself like the awesome soul that you are.

Standing out has never been easier. We got your back.

Antonio Neves is the author of '50 Things Every College Student Should Know.' He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.