Last week I read this rather brow-raising article in TechCrunch. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina announced recently that she was going to run for president. She grabbed the domain name carlyforpresident.com, but someone else picked up http://carlyfiorina.org and posted a page of 30,000 sad faces for all the people she laid off at HP.
Over the years I have worked with other executives who shared with me that upon Googling their own names, they were shocked to discover that theirname.com was already taken – and some of those sites were going to require explanation on behalf of those executives at some point during their interview process. One of my executive clients found out he shared the same name with a popular male stripper who had a very – ahem – revealing website (and no, I am not going to list his name!)
So, it will run you about $10 a year to grab your name.com from a domain name company (like Godaddy.com) and I strongly suggest you do it! Even if you have to use a version of yourname.com, like your-name.com, or yourinitials.com, I feel it is worth it!
Here are a couple of additional things to think about:
Even if you don’t use yourname.com now, you may use it in the future for your own business; for instance, if you go into management consulting. And even if you don’t use your name for the business, you are ensuring that no one else will! That’s valuable in today’s climate where it is very common for someone to Google someone else’s name. Especially in the job search process.
Use it for Job Search
You may want to create a website for a job search. Websites are a really nice touch and work for you 24/7 – even when sleep! A photo of you gives an additional dynamic that people can connect with. We use Weebly to create our websites. If you use Weebly or a similar service, just make sure to upgrade to the pro package so that no tacky drip marketing shows up on your site. Weebly gives you the option to hide your website from search engines (a very good idea if you are in a secret job search or just passively looking) and even the option to password protect it.
You can certainly have yourname.com indexed by search engines – just know that once you are indexed, your site link and description (even if it is unpublished) will show up in Google’s search results when someone Googles your name. Another benefit to search engine indexing is that if your name is already taken by someone whose website might cause a few raised eyebrows, then when your site shows up right next to it, it will help diffuse the shock and may avert awkward interview conversations.