University of South Carolina :: Darla Moore School of Business   the Competitive Edge

with William Arruda

Overview/What You Will Learn

What would someone find -- and determine about you -- if he or she Googled you?  William Arruda, personal branding expert, Founder of Reach Personal Branding and Co-Author of Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand, explains how you can measure your own online reputation and offers detailed advice on ways to enhance it.

Key Points

Your Next Steps / Tips for Evaluating and Improving Your Online Identity

  • Most recruiters access the web to find potential new hires, but they also use it to rule out job candidates.
  • A solid online reputation is critical to your job search because so many candidates qualify for every available opening.
  • There are five measures of online reputation. These are the factors people consider when making decisions about you:
    • Volume = How much content exists about you;
    • Relevance = Are you the person you say you are and who the searcher needs you to be?;
    • Purity = Can it be easily determined if the information that comes up is related to you or to another person who shares your same name?;
    • Diversity = Is there more content about you than just text -- for example, images, video or real-time content from Twitter?;
    • Validation = Are there testimonials from others about their positive experience with you?
  • You can enhance your online reputation in each of the 5 measures.  For example:
    • By uploading more content onto the web and by adding your profile to new social media sites;
    • By ensuring most of the information on the web is related to what you want to be known for.
    • By including key words in your content that you think people will use to find you. This way when they type in your name and these key words, all of your content pops up;
    • By having a head shot. It connects people to who you are and makes you more credible.  And by preparing a video bio that tells people what you are about;
    • Get feedback from others and include recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. Join Branch Out and where people can rate you or anonymously express what their experience has been with you.
  • Google yourself.  See where – and how – you show up, and make a plan to improve your online identity.
  •  Increase your volume.
    • Concentrate on thought leadership – e.g., repackage projects you have done in your MBA program into articles or presentations.  Upload that content onto the web. 
    • Explore new social networking tools like Google Plus, Names and Create a profile on each of these.
    • Go to and and write reviews of books on topics related to your area of expertise.
  • Enhance your relevance.
    • Contribute content to portals related to your specialty (e.g., marketing or human resources) and to blogs and social media networks. This will increase the amount of content directly related to what you want to be known for.
  • Enhance your purity.  Remember, your goal is to stand apart from others who share your name.
    • Identify keywords people might use to search you and incorporate them into all your content.  This way, all of your content will immediately pop up.
  • Increase your diversity.
    • Upload your professional headshot everywhere you can.
    • Transcribe a presentation you gave into a video.
    • Create a video bio in which you tell people – and show them – what you are about.
    • Upload your multimedia content onto YouTube, Vimeo and other websites that accept video content.

Expert BIO
with William Arruda

William Arruda is an international branding consultant, author and public speaker focused on professional development and executive leadership.  William is the Founder of Reach Personal Branding, the #1 provider of personal branding services to Fortune 500 companies and leading universities, guiding professionals to unearth what makes them exceptional and use their unique gifts and experience to drive value for their career and organization. He lectures and conducts workshops on personal branding at top-tier graduate schools of business, including Harvard, Duke, NYU, Berkeley, Wharton, University of Michigan, UCLA and Cornell. In addition, he lectures and consults to executives at the world's largest corporations including Johnson and Johnson, Price Waterhouse, Sheraton, Microsoft, Disney, Ogilvy and J.P. Morgan.  He is the co-author of Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand, a guidebook with the tools managers need to differentiate themselves from their peers and thrive in today’s job market.  William blogs at