As you search for work and submit your resume and cover letter to potential employers, you’ll need to make sure these two critical documents create a strong impression. Your letter and your resume will tell the world who you are and what you can do…but in our modern digital world, the process won’t usually stop there. After your formal application moves your candidacy into the final round, most employers will spend at least a few minutes (and sometimes hours) searching for more information online. Anything they find can and probably will influence the final outcome of a hiring decision. Here are a few moves that can help you control and protect your online reputation.

First: The Basics

It should go without saying, but too often, young people miss this message: Never post or publish anything online if you don’t want the world to see it. A rant on a Youtube thread, a movie review, a comment on a public facebook profile, your “secret” blog, or a photo of yourself on Twitter are all available to potential employers. With your name, address and basic information in hand, employers can easily find any trail you’ve left behind on the internet.

Start with Linkedin

All the same, even though employers CAN find everything you’ve left behind, they don’t always have the time and interest to conduct a thorough detective exercise. Most hiring managers start with Linkedin, then move to the other items that appear in the first or second page of Google search results. Make sure your Linkedin page reflects and confirms the basic message of your resume, and make sure your profile is neat, complete and well-written (if you have one).

Search for Your Name

Think like a potential employer and conduct a Google search of your name, including various versions with and without your middle initial. Skim through the results that appear on the first few pages and look for any detail that may potentially stand in your way. For example, a negative review of your work, an embarrassing article, or a goofy photo that might send the wrong message. If you can do anything to have these awkward messages taken down or pushed to the second or third page of results, do so. This might mean generating some new, positive content in order to flood out or balance the bad news.

Privacy Settings and Professional Tweets

Since your social media profiles will likely appear at the top of the list of results, make sure your privacy settings are locked down. Go through your Facebook posts and make sure that your personal information and photos can only be seen by friends and family. While you’re at it, make sure your tweets reflect a sense of professionalism and industry thought leadership.

For more on how to control and manage your online persona, reach out to the staffing and job search team at Expert Staffing.


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