Have you Googled yourself lately? What comes up? Are there embarrassing pictures, stories you don’t want people to see or something else that nobody wants found?
If you’re active online, there’s a good chance information can easily be found just by Googling your name. This isn’t the best thing when you’re searching for a job. Your potential employers may Google you and find out all kinds of things you don’t want them to know.
There are ways to defend against this with good reputation management. Make sure you take care of all of the things on the following checklist before you start hunting for a job. If you don’t, it could be the reason you don’t get called in for an interview.
Check and Change your Social Media Settings
When it comes to your social media, you don’t have to be super public. You can change all of your settings to private and should before you start hunting for a job. There’s no reason to allow a potential employers to find something that gives off the wrong impression of you.
Most social media sites have a security section within the settings. This is the place to check and make sure it’s set to private before you move forward. It’s also helpful to know that some background and profile pictures may still be public. In some cases, you cannot hide these, so be aware of what they are and make sure they show you off in a professional way.
Avoid any Controversial Posts
If you make comments or posts on your social media that cause controversy, you could be rubbing someone the wrong way without knowing it. A potential employer may not agree with your political stance or something else about you. While they cannot fire you for this, they can decide to not interview you because of a post they found on Facebook.
Be aware of what your posting and don’t put anything controversial up for a while. Make sure you get the job before you go back to normal posting.
Change your Social Media Name
Nothing says you have to link your social media to your real name. You can change it to a pen name so that it’s not findable when Googling your real name. You can also use this tactic to have a separate personal account or professional account.
Get Things Removed
Maybe someone sad something about you or posted a story on you and it’s not exactly flattering. You can contact them and ask nicely if they will remove it from their website. It could even be a picture you posted or a comment you put up a while back. Either way, just ask to have it removed.
Check Your Own Website/Blog
If you have a blog out there or a website, make sure you don’t have anything on it you wouldn’t want found. Sometimes, your full name associated with the wrong website can be the problem. Make sure if it’s not something you want potential employers to find, you remove your name from it.
Get an Expert Involved
When it’s a big enough job that you need true reputation management, hire an expert. Some companies know how to push bad things to the bottom, remove them and put the best at the top when you’re Googled. Hiring an expert may be the right step if you really need to make sure your reputation is squeaky clean online.
There are plenty of things out there about all of us. You want to make sure when your name is put into Google, only good things show up.