When you’re looking for work, there’s no better feeling than knowing that a prospective employer looked at your resume and liked what he saw.

After all, a resume is usually the crux of the hiring process. A lot of people will tailor their resume for each position they apply for, knowing that incorporating the right elements could be the difference-maker when it comes to landing an interview. Others post their resume on job boards, where recruiting managers can search out the best candidate for a given position.

Increasingly, though, people are advertising themselves on the job market in altogether different ways. In the era of the WWW, employers can know about you without you even knowing it. Sometimes this is the case because they’ll see your resume posted on a job board. But other times, they might have come across some information about you that you didn’t post… or are even aware of.

After all, how many times have you Googled someone over the past few years? Probably more than you can count and, as you can imagine, you’re not alone in this. And while it’s one thing for your date to read something about you that is less than positive, you certainly don’t want a prospective employer to.

The iceberg factor

This is only one reason to take your charge of your identity. Another reason is one that we’ll call the iceberg factor.

Imagine the tip of the iceberg representing all your job searches and inquiries; all those outbound efforts you’ve made in an effort to secure work. In these instances, you control the message by drafting a resume that will strike the right chord with an employer.

However, the rest of the iceberg — that much larger piece hidden beneath the surface — represents all of the employment opportunities out there. As a young professional, you will always be sought out by others who see what you have to offer to them — even if you do not yet recognize it. As a result, you need to be well positioned for these anonymous onlookers.

What does the Web have to say about you?

Don’t get blogged down

These days, everyone is ranting and raving about blogs. Many use weblogs as useful personal journals or diaries; others have gone one step further and assumed the role of “renegade” journalist, attempting to create makeshift media companies out of them. This can work out very well for those who have the time to maintain a weblog for others to read. But for the most part, blogs remain insights into one’s personal thoughts and opinions, and should be treated as such.

So while having a blog is a useful release and can put you in the spotlight, the truth is that you should have better things to do with your time than constantly uploading a journal for others to read.

This is not to suggest that a blog is a waste of time. But for the purpose of showcasing your skills and experiences, a blog might not be the best path to take.

Online resume

An alternative would be to simply have a dedicated website profiling your professional path, accomplishments and achievements. You can even add pertinent personal details, so long as they fortify what you have to offer as an individual.

The way to go about this is not to have an isolated page on just any site — after all, you don’t want a prospective employer clicking off that page and finding pictures of you and your friends at a stag party.

What you want is a special website dedicated entirely to your professional background. These days, buying a URL and maintaining a no-frills website can cost you less than $20 a year. Consider it a worthy investment that can land you a job.

In the end, you have to position yourself in the best light possible. You can only be assured of having done so when you take control of your online identity.

E-mail of the week:

I have what many would call a good job with NASA, but I am not all that passionate about it. Should I leave my work to pursue an MBA to do something I enjoy more?

Well, it’s funny that you connect getting an MBA with finding work that you’re passionate about. After all, there is no guarantee that an MBA is the gateway to happiness in the corporate world. By getting an MBA, you might find a better paying job, but there’s no guarantee that such a job will make you happier. Of course, by virtue of getting an MBA, you will have — at least theoretically — more opportunities than you would now.

What I recommend is that you find out what would make you happiest and see if there’s any way that you can stake it and build a side project out of it. That might be an easier way to find happiness and do something that you are passionate about than spending the next two years in school. Of course, if that’s what makes you happiest, then go for it, especially if you can afford it.

Ash Karbasfrooshan is also the author of Course To Success, available at www.CourseToSuccess.com. His new book, The Confessions of Alexander The Great: 33 Lessons in Greatness, is available at www.AlexanderTheBook.com.