Believe it or not, your name is a brand and in today’s world where most first impressions are made online, you better believe that owning your name is more important that it’s ever been.

Let’s face it, if you’re applying for a job, you will be “Google’d“. Your social profiles will be checked, and any compromising photos or negative press found can and will be used against you. Don’t make it that easy for recruiters to dismiss you, since they’re already looking for any reason to make their stack of resumes any smaller.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a job or not, reputation management and your personal brand online should be important to you.

You need to stake your claim and start with owning these first!

1. Own your Search Results

What’s the first thing hiring mangers do after your resume has made it past the first round of cuts? They Google your name.

Now, some of you may have a commonly used first and last name – you are going to have challenges ahead of you if you fit into this category, but if you’re like me, “Brad Huss” is not a common last name. But would you believe how surprised I was when I checked a couple years back only to find a website dedicated to a real estate agent in Arizona. I was pretty upset that my name was taken; sad actually because I have been know as a “computer person” since my college days. I never once thought of claiming my own domain name until I discovered it was already claimed. So, how did I get the domain? – it took patience and I will be glad to personally share the process if you contact me.

Owning your search results means creating a strategy to move up the rankings. This can be done in many ways, here’s three to get you started.

1. Get a website with your name as the domain and use it to showcase your accomplishments.

2. Create a blog that you update frequently and are the author.

3. Establish yourself on social profiles (5 Ways to Own Your Personal Brand Online – Part 2)

** this is part 1 of a 5 part blog series on assisting you to better understand you online “Brand” and the value it speaks if you don’t take measures to be aggressive in claiming search rank **