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Creal Zearing presents a powerpoint slide on search engines. #

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Students Learn About Online Presence at Career Impact Summit

December 13, 2016

Creal Zearing presents a powerpoint slide on search engines.

By Celina Dietzel '17

"Take out your phones and Google yourselves."

This was the first thing Creal Zearing '10 instructed Knox College students to do during Social Media and Personal Branding, a session from the 2016 Career Impact Summit.

Some students found Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. Others had to scroll through pages to find anything about themselves at all.

This exercise was a demonstration in what future employers will see when they search online for information about a job candidate.

"People will look you up," Zearing assured Knox students.

Zearing explained the three components that affect how results appear in search engines:

  • Age: Old web pages show up last, new ones show up first.
  • Keyword: Specific words and phrases that appear on the web page can affect what shows up in search engines.
  • Popularity: The more clicks a post receives, the more likely it is to show up higher in the search results.

After determining one's presence online, the next step is working with that presence to create a personal brand.

A personal brand demonstrates to future employers one's personal and professional values and can even help snag a job.

Zearing encouraged students to work on their personal brand in a few ways:

  • Highlight values and skills: Use a personal web page, or customize a LinkedIn page, to showcase personality and uniqueness.
  • Stay consistent: Make sure personal information matches across web pages and platforms.
  • Get creative: Create a visual element or add unique information to make a page memorable.
  • Always stay professional: Make sure to use professional photos and keep any personal accounts, such as Facebook, set on private.

Zearing suggested creating a blog post about a hobby or interest that will reflect positively on the author.

"It gets your name out there with good, solid content," she said.

The Career Impact Summit was hosted by the Bastian Family Career Center, and sponsored by the John D. Carlin Career Development Support Fund. This is the fourth year for the event, where 80 Knox juniors and seniors picked up tips from alumni about searching for jobs, pursuing their dreams, and planning their after-Knox lives.

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Printed on Sunday, February 26, 2017

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