Answer: More than you might think.
Owning your domain name will soon become more important than ever.
If you’re like me, you probably never gave it much thought. I mean, who cares about “stephenvanvreede.com”? Why would anyone want to own that? Why would I want to own that?
Answer: Because as social recruiting and social networking continues to rise, having your own domain name will be the new business card, and it will be the hub of your online “community.”
Sounds a bit much? I don’t think so.
We have already entered a mindset in hiring that candidates who are unsearchable online are becoming increasingly suspect and that there is a demand for more authenticity in a candidate’s online bios and profiles.
Translation: They claim to want more content marketing from job seekers. They want to go online, read your profiles, check out your activity, see what content you are sharing. And they are going to want to “Google” you and find a central hub for all of that…your domain name. (And, by the way, that is becoming true even when you aren’t actively seeking. The concept of “social” engagement among a company’s employees is a hot topic right now.)
Now, I have to admit some skepticism here. These are all the same people proclaiming that they can’t spend more than 6 seconds reading a resume because the “resume is dead” (yet when repeatedly asked what they would prefer to read, they respond with “LinkedIn profile”…essentially a resume in narrative form; of course, after they “read” your profile, they then ask you to do what? Yep…submit a resume!). So it is somewhat a stretch to believe they are going to wade through layers and layers of online content.
I think what they are really saying is that they want to get a “sense” of who you are as a candidate. They want to feel that you have embraced the social era (like it or not!) and that you are establishing yourself as a subject matter expert of some kind.
That’s why you need to take control of your domain name before someone else does.
Crazy as it may sound, as people become more and more aware of the power they can have over someone else’s reputation, there is nothing stopping them from purchasing your domain name and either pretending to be you or using it to damage your name. (I’m just thinking of what an ex-spouse or disgruntled co-worker could do!)
It might be crazy, but it is worth the few bucks a year.
It doesn’t cost much to buy it now, but it could cost a lot later on down the road as the trend increases. So, take some time today and add your domain name to your career management portfolio. Use it to build that central hub where your web bio, social media contact buttons, and blog are all located. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming; just keep it current. And most importantly, keep it under your control…not someone else’s.