Google Plus (Google+ or G+) is currently the second largest social network in the world, after Facebook.
Yes, Google Plus is bigger than LinkedIn without having all of the pesky rules LinkedIn has (limited space for content, requiring you to have a "current job" and so on)! Google Plus even has "Communities" which are similar to LinkedIn's Groups.
And, in many ways, Google Plus is more powerful than Facebook for your job search since what you put in G+ is visible to Google, while much of Facebook's content is not.
Finally, G+ is, of course, owned by Google, currently the most influential website on the Internet and the site many/most employers and recruiters check when looking for job candidates.
Google Plus = Your Resume + "Social"
In an era when most employers research job seekers online, frequently using Google, the importance of a Google+ Profile to a job seeker cannot be over estimated. In addition to your LinkedIn Profile, your Google Plus Profile helps establish your credibility as someone who is "with it" -- up-to-date with the current business world. It also provides additional "social proof" of who you are and what you know.
And, not surprisingly, your Google Plus Profile is a big help for your personal SEO ('search engine optimization"), a key factor in being found when an employer searches for information about you or for qualified job candidates.
Maximize Your Google+ "About" Page
This is your opportunity to tell Google who you are, what you have done, and what you want to do. When you have established your Google Plus account, click on the "About" tab on your Profile screen.
Remember that what you share on your Google Plus Profile will be feeding Google valuable information (and keywords!) about you to any prospective employers who stop by or do a Google searchFor your About page, Google offers you apparently unlimited space to describe yourself in several boxes that are very useful. Scroll down the About page, and see the various sections provided. Each section is a box with a label at the top, including:
- People -- these are people who have you in G+ Circles, and vice versa. (Google provides the content for this section.)
- Story -- similar to the "Summary" section of your LinkedIn Profile, Story currently has more space, more options, and fewer limitations on what can be included than LinkedIn.
- Work -- similar to the "Experience" section of your LinkedIn Profile, the Work section offers you space for each of your employers, job title, and dates of employment with room to describe your accomplishments in each job (dates are optional).
- Places -- where you live now and have lived or visited in the past (if you care to share).
- Education -- offers the usual school, major or field of study, and start and end date (dates are optional).
- Contact information -- address and phone number (careful!).
- Basic information - gender, relationship status (married, divorced, etc.), other names (maiden name, etc.), and birthday (NO!).
- Links -- your Profile's URL, other profiles (LinkedIn, etc.), websites you "Contribute to" (evidence for Google and everyone else that you are an "expert"), and other links.
Leveraging Google Plus About
The Story and Work sections offer great opportunities for you to include information both for recruiters/prospective employers and also for Google's search engine. Think of it as your LinkedIn Profile on steroids!
Use the same headshot photo on your Google Plus Profile that you use on your LinkedIn Profile to make it clear to employers and recruiters that both profiles belong to the same person.
Your Google Plus Profile's About page is a powerful ally in your job search, both to bring you to employer's attention and also to help you manage your online reputation. Just like LinkedIn, it shows the world what you want the world to know. More about G+ soon...
Follow me on G+ for more job search tips! https://plus.google.com/+SusanPJoyce/
Susan P. Joyce is president of NETability, Inc. and the editor and chief technology writer for Job-Hunt.org. This piece first appeared on Job-Hunt.org, where Susan is an editor and writer.