|| New Year's Resolution: Take Control of Your Career

Is your job secure? Do you feel in control of your career?

You are immersed in the most satisfying project of your life. You are getting accolades both inside and outside your firm. Out-of-the-blue, a recruiter calls and makes you an offer that will enable early retirement. You bid your farewells and move on to greener pastures.

We all know it seldom happens this way. Instead, you can use online job sites. There are an estimated 13 million resumes contained in the various Internet job sites. Not a very attractive option. And what do you do if you are currently employed and prefer not to announce to your employer you are looking? There has to be a better way to manage your career.

Now there is. Here is a simple three-step plan to assume control of your career in these uncertain times.

Step 1: Write Your Career Biography.

Think of people whose only product is themselves, such as movie actors and rock stars. How do they promote themselves? They use personal publicists who actively distribute their biography. The celebrity is constantly visible and always alert for opportunities to reinforce their brand even when they are busy working or semi-retired.

Executives write biographies for public speaking events and company media kits. Why not write your own? This biography would summarize your career accomplishments. A biography is NOT a resume and should not read like one. Instead, write the biography as if it was going to appear in the literature for your industry's annual conference.

Step 2: Publish Your Career Biography.

You can't afford a personal publicist, and distributing your career biography as a press release doesn't make any sense. The solution is an online biography web page.

The online "bio page" is essentially a one page website where your biography is posted. An online bio page allows you to rise above the clutter by having a web site focused on one individual, one brand. Since your bio page is on the Internet, it will be indexed using keywords that you specify, by the leading Internet search engines.

Your web address should match your name. There are several "dot" domain extensions available. But the best one for biopages is also the newest. ".name" is the only domain reserved for individuals. Imagine securing an e-mail address that matches your name: you will never have to inform your personal network of your contact details again. The new ".name" domain includes sophisticated anti-Spam filters so that you will not be deluged with junk mail.

Your online bio page is the first impression people will have of you. Do not use a free site hosted by Yahoo or Geocities. And certainly do not use an e-mail address promoting AOL or Hotmail. You need to make sure your online biography looks professional and brands no one but you.

Step 3: Announce Your Biography Page.

You've heard it before: your personal network of friends and colleagues is your most important asset when it comes to finding a new job. These are the people you should inform first about your new bio page.

Do it before you leave your current employer. When you leave a job, often without any warning, you may be unable to adequately inform your network. Your network then becomes stale. With a personal bio page and matching e-mail address, this problem will never happen again.

Since your online bio is a unique web address, you can specify meta tags for the search engines to find. Recruiters will discover you by simply performing a keyword search.

What Are You Waiting For?

How much should all this cost? Not as much as you think. For less than $100/year, you can secure your own domain name, e-mail address and establish your own biographical web page. See a sample bio page at sample bio page

Don't delay. Get started and take control of your career today.

Thomas Barrett is CEO of EnCirca.biz, the first web site focused exclusively on the creation and maintenance of personal identities in the .name domain. His new year's resolution was to build his career biography page at www.tom.barrett.name. Visitors are welcome.

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