Having an online presence when transitioning into the civilian job market is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.  Part of your online presence should be your personal SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization

If you have never worked in the world of online marketing, then the term SEO may be foreign to you. However, you see the results of it every day, and more likely than not, many times a day and don’t know it.

When you search online for a product, service or anything for that matter, the search results on your computer are a result of SEO for that item. In a nutshell, SEO is creating web content that ranks well in relevant searches.

Personal SEO

Personal SEO is having the right keywords in the right places online so that your name shows up in the results when a recruiter performs a search for you or the keywords relating to the skills you possess. If you hold an active federal security clearance, your public brand should obviously be vague concerning your specific career skills, but it is a great place to highlight soft skills.

The Defense Security Service recently warned that LinkedIn is the number one way industry is being targeted. That means it’s even more critical to be aware of what you’re sharing online. Social media is a part of your personal brand, but it doesn’t need to be the key to your career details.

The impact of personal SEO when job hunting

Finally, make sure the information they find on you is not only accurate and relevant, but positive. If they find exploits and evidence that you are a party animal (complete with photos), more than likely job offers won’t come flooding in. Cleaning up your digital dirt takes minimal effort but will have a huge impact on your personal brand.

To see what is online about you, do a Google search on your name. You might be surprised (or shocked) at what comes up and what recruiters could be reading about you.

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.