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Chris Ford had a 20 year distinguished career in the Air Force, but when it came time to transition to a civilian job, he realized hiring manages would not learn much about him if they searched online.  “ They may see some aspects of prior deployments or awards and things that I had achieved, but again it wasn’t really where I wanted to go.  I wanted to take that strong reputation as a foundation,  and move that into a new industry area “ Ford said.  He had his sites set on helping veterans and their families.  So Ford worked with Lida Citroen, a reputation management specialist at Lida 360 in Denver, to create a new online reputation.  “Anybody can build their brand online,” Citroen said.

First, she says clients like Ford need to develop a strategy.  Determine a message of where you are headed, and the tools you will use.  Then join social media sites like LinkedIn to get that message out, using key words in the summary.   In your profile picture, look the part of the job you are seeking.  Ford took off the uniform and put on a suit.  Next, take a hard look at your connections and friends.  Those can reflect on you.  Finally, blog about your industry, or comment on blogs and articles.  This can show off your expertise and increase your searchability.  “ I wouldn’t just say – great post.  I would say -What I really enjoyed about your piece is these five points that you make, because one of the things I’m learning is ..  and then you continue the conversation,” Citroen said.   Find groups in your industry, and get your name out there.  “Your name starts showing up in these places.  It becomes natural place to say let’s look at this man or woman who keeps talking in here, they like what I’m talking about.  Maybe they would be a good fit for our company,” Ford said.