More and more, job recruiters use the internet to search for new talent and to perform social media background checks. Your web presence has become an extension of your resume. It’s crucial to your career to understand how, where and when you can protect your professional life on the internet. By taking control of your online presence, you can actively manage what information people can find about you online.
Out With The Old
- Step one in controlling your online presence is to evaluate it. Log out of your Google accounts (they tailor results to your activity) and search your name. Browse the first few pages. This will give you an accurate picture of what the average person will find when they search for you on the web.
- For images and search results you would like removed from Google, refer to their web tools support page. With a click, it will report any offensive or undesired results associated with your name in a Google search.
- For Facebook users, your easiest solution is to delete your Facebook account. For those whose Facebook account is a necessity, get familiar with Facebook’s privacy options. You can go to the privacy settings tab and check “Limit Past Post Visibility” to hide your entire post history. In the future, be delicate about what posts you choose to make entirely public. Just be sure to share content that represents you, professionally. You are allowed to have a personality, but be cautious of what you share.
- Twitter, fortunately, offers much simpler solutions to maintaining privacy on the web. If you are uncomfortable with employers seeing your Twitter page, set it to private and all of your activity on the site will be veiled. Remember, when people “retweet” (or quote) you or respond to your tweets, it will still be visible on other portions of the site.
- Google+ is less frequented than most popular social networking sites, but you should still familiarize yourself with their privacy settings. Much like Facebook, each Google+ post has tailored privacy settings which restrict who can view it. You can also create a professional Google+ page. From the page, you have the option to link to your other social media accounts. This notifies Google that all of your accounts are truly “yours.”
- LinkedIn is a professional social media site, but there are efforts you can take to hone your public persona. Make sure the articles you post are professional in nature, and any information in your profile is linked to the appropriate sources (i.e., a website which hosts your resume).
After you’ve edited your online presence, know that not all web-connections are bad. For example, associating your name with your own web domain (i.e., www.johndoe.com) can streamline a web-search for you to an entire website under your control. Not only does this look professional to a hiring manager, but you can also place your resume and skills summary here. Try using your domain to link to articles about you in a local newspaper, personas in online marketplaces like About.me and Flavors.me, or compile your work into an online portfolio.
Always be aware of what you are posting on the web. Take control of your presence online and show off your experience to potential employers. If you are looking for jobs in Philadelphia PA, contact Magellan today.