More employers than ever are screening job candidates by looking at their online presence. According to Business News Daily, “70 percent of employers use social media to screen candidates before hiring them, and nearly 70 percent of hiring managers are using online search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing to research candidates as well.” If they find anything unflattering, it could easily cost you a job. Here are some tips for effectively cleaning up your online presence.
Start With Facebook
Facebook is by far the biggest social network and had over 2.23 billion users as of April 2018. It’s also a place where users like to share their pictures, thoughts and opinions. Consequently, this is one of the first places employers tend to look.
In order to see what prospective employers will see, log out and either search for yourself by your name or enter your account ID. This will show you what’s visible to others and if there’s any information that could hurt your job search. If you find anything unsavory, log back into your profile and promptly delete it.
Note that images are usually the first thing you’ll want to delete, but this could also include quotes, music, movies, books and so on. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter and determine if there’s anything linked to you that could be off-putting. Then do the same for any other networks you’re active on.
Then Check Google
Now follow the same process with Google. First log out (being logged in will offer personalized results) and search for your name. Now scroll through the first few pages of the results to see what pops up. Note that most people won’t go much further than page three or four, so you don’t usually need worry about what’s after that.
From there, investigate any resources that link to you and check for questionable content. If you find anything problematic, remove it. You may also want to see what pops up in other major search engines like Yahoo! and Bing as well.
Create Positive Content
The last step is to spend some time creating positive content that will reflect well on you as a job candidate. For instance, you may want to add a professional-looking headshot for your social media profiles or update your LinkedIn profile to include any volunteer work you’ve done. You may even want to create your own website with your name in the URL so it’s one of the first things recruiters find in search results.
The line separating the online world and offline world is virtually nonexistent these days. As a result, checking out your online presence is quite common among recruiters. Putting forth the effort to clean up your online presence should help you land more interviews and ultimately advance your career.
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