If You Can't Be Googled, Do You Exist?

These days, a conspicuous online presence is essential to wooing employers and making contacts.

By + More

Outside Voices - ''Working Girl'' aka Karen Burns
Here in Internet-addicted Seattle, you don't hand new contacts a business card.

You say: "If you want to reach me, just Google my name."

A sign of extreme coolness is when people can find you by Googling only your first name.

Don't laugh. Even if you, like Working Girl, inhabit less rarefied circles, you still need to care about your Googleability—because many people (including some potential employers) now believe that if you aren't findable on the Internet, preferably on Page 1 of a search, it's the same as not existing.

Sad but true.

People with common names like John Smith or Mary Jones build their sites around a catchphrase (something to do with their work, like "Web strategy"). Then they say: "If you want to reach me, just Google 'Web strategy.' "

OK, say you have a website, a name like Mortimer Kadoodlehopper and/or a catchphrase. But your site doesn't appear on a Google search until Page 27. No one's going to find you there! So, how to improve your Google ranking?

You guessed it. Write a blog. It's the easiest and fastest way to scoot up to the head of the Google parade. In fact, the same people who say "The business card is dead" say that "The blog is the new résumé." Blogs are an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge, establish authority, and network.

Wanna be Googlicious? Try blogging. It's not as hard as it seems. And wow your prospective employers in two clicks or less.

Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009. She blogs at www.karenburnsworkinggirl.com.