Your Online Presence
More and more employers are looking at your online presence – including your Facebook profile, your travel blog, and that news article you were in. Follow these steps to make sure that what is out there doesn’t stand in the way of your next opportunity.
Step 1: Google yourself.
It’s best if you do this from a computer that isn’t your own so that your preferences and accounts do not affect what you see. Do a little digging: check out the first few links, then hop over to the ‘images’ tab to see what photos are at the top.
Step 2: Evaluate.
Can you see those photos of you at Spring Break that you thought you untagged yourself in? What is the first thing that comes up? Do you have a LinkedIn or other professional profile with the information you want employers to see? Is there another person with your name that you would like to differentiate yourself from?
Remember, employers aren’t just looking for explicit content or bad language (although any of that is a huge issue). They are trying to get a sense of you to see if you will fit in with their team and evaluate what kind of company representative you will be.
Step 3: Put your best self forward.
Adjusting your security settings can be helpful, but don’t assume that the hiring manager couldn’t find that questionable photo if they really tried. Ask your friend to take those Bachelorette photos down or put them in a private album. Delete any posts that other people could be offended by.
Develop your professional profile on LinkedIn by asking old employers or coworkers to write you recommendations. Add a professional photo and make your summary reflect your skills and, if your job search isn’t confidential, the kind of position you are looking for.
Hopefully, the next time an employer checks you out online your presence will confirm that you are the best person for the job.