Google YOU: What Do Employers See When Searching Your Name Online?
If your name has ever been on the internet, will it live on forever?
While it may seem that way, there are actually ways to hide certain information from public searches, which you will read about further into this post. But let’s start with some basic guidelines on what is appropriate to place on the internet in general, especially when job-hunting in today’s market. There are often thousands of applicants each day for each job, which means employers must look deeper into the lives of every applicant that stands out to them in the first place. So, what do employers see when searching your name online? The first step is to get ahead of the game, and Google yourself! It is likely that any future employer or staffing agency will do just this, so you might as well be prepared.
When an employer Googles you, will they really click each link? Probably. Especially if they have already invested extra time in considering you for the position. This is where you can make a difference. It is up to you to remove your public name and or connections to undesirable sites and groups. This means you must make sure you contact any “less-than-reputable” associations, and ask them to remove you from their search results. It may take a bit of time and effort, but it is possible to clear your name. You may have to cut ties with certain individuals, but to be able to present yourself in a completely professional manner, it is sometimes necessary. Any Florida talent acquisition firm would completely agree.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
When you apply for a job online, you are automatically putting your contact information out there, such as your email address and potentially social media links. This is a fairly new process for some employers, but it can easily be the determining factor of whether or not you get a second interview or the job itself. Settings can be adjusted, for example, on your Facebook feed to publish your posts privately, so they can only be viewed by friends, instead of the general public. This is a very simple change that allows you to more closely monitor how you are perceived. In the South Florida employment sector, this step is imperative.
Guilty by Association
Another step is to disassociate yourself from people who do not closely match your lifestyle and professional goals and achievements. Any company or talent acquisition firm that you apply through will check out your personal and professional associates. Working on being a conservative lawyer? You will probably want to sweep your friends to make sure the stoner kid you knew back in high school doesn’t ruin your chances of professional employment. Again, this is an unfortunate consequence of the modern 21st century social media movement, but it is one we must consider. Have an old college buddy who decided to drop out and sell drugs, getting arrested in the process? His record might affect you simply by being linked socially. What about your references? Have you vetted them, and made sure your contact numbers are up to date? Perhaps one of them has gotten themselves into a sticky situation, and you don’t even realize it? You can guarantee a future employer or talent acquisition team will find out, so do your due diligence.
Are you representing yourself professionally online to get hired? There is a wide variety of subjects that are considered taboo, or inappropriate, in the professional world. These can include personal opinions or posts based on religion, politics, illegal substances and activities, and even controversial topics such as abortion and immigration rights. When you post strong opinions publicly, you are sometimes marking yourself to not only be the target of harassment, but being passed over for a position simply because the other candidate has a squeaky clean digital record. When an employer Googles you, it is because they want to see a clean, non-controversial footprint.
How Can I Clean Up My Online Presence?
Step 1: Change your posting settings.
Step 2: Clear out your friends list, so you present a more professional network. If you really don’t want to delete anyone, you can also make a profile that is reserved specifically for employers. Then, make sure your other profile is not searchable, which is most often found in the settings domain.
Step 3: If there are radical organizations you are no longer a part of, contact the website administrator, and have your name edited or removed. If all else fails, there are options to contact website hosts and Google itself to request removal of links.
Endless South Florida employment possibilities are out there just waiting for you! Now is the time to control the answer to the million-dollar question: What do employers see when searching your name online?