With the popularity of social media as an engine for finding jobs, job seekers should be very concerned about what a potential employer might find online. Blog posts, photographs, videos and participation in forums can stay on the internet forever. There is no undo button on the World Wide Web and occasionally job seekers will have to engage in damage control. However, there are a few simple things everyone can do to make sure that their online reputation is intact.
- Google yourself. The first step to determining the action you need to take is to learn what is already out there. Google your own name and see what comes up. You really only need to check out the first couple pages since that will be about as far back as anyone will look. If there is anything troubling, bookmark it so you can consider the correct action.
- Replace the bad with good. The way search engines work is they find the sites with the most keyword hits that match what you are searching for. If you do find something bad in the first couple pages if your search, the best solution is to begin creating good content that will eventually bury the bad content. You can create a blog and start to write about industry specific things which will make a potential employer interested instead of turned off.
- Request removal. If you find something serious on a website, you can request removal from the site owner. Remember, even if you request removal from a website the information will still be in the internet archives but this elimination may keep it from a potential employer’s Google results. Make sure you aren’t rude or abusive in your request as that could backfire and cause the exact opposite result.
- Ensure your privacy settings. Another key to making sure that the wrong information does not find its way into the hands of a potential employer is to have the proper privacy settings on the social media sites that you use. It seems that most users prefer Facebook for friends and family and LinkedIn for business networking. Set your Facebook profile to be more secure and make sure your LinkedIn profile is accessible and complete. You can still post your vacation photos and not worry about whether a potential employer will be judging you by them. Even still, a good rule of thumb is to never post anything on line that you wouldn’t want your Mom to see.
Looking for a staffing company who has a great industry reputation? Contact CornerStone Staffing to talk to a recruiter about your next opportunity.