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Have you ever Googled your own name? This article offers advice on how to protect your online reputation.
You are preparing for a job interview. You have created the perfect resume and motivation letter. You have provided all the references from previous jobs and you are reviewing your prepared answers for potential interview questions…but have you ever Googled yourself? A lot of employers do a little online research before they meet interview candidate.
The internet contains a huge variety of information and it could have a notable impact on a candidate’s reputation. People often simply forget about their “online resumes” - that information which can be easily found on the internet. Active users of social media networks should be particularly careful about privacy and avoiding indecent content so that they are not relegated from the recruitment process.
1. Be careful with posting
If you use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, do not post inappropriate content like photos from parties or other personal activities, which you would like to hide from any current or future employer. The same applies to unprofessional and vulgar tweets. Although you may think that your posts are set up only for viewing by your friends, there may be changes in privacy settings by the network administrators, so you should regularly check your settings to be sure.
2. Research information in advance
Google your name before applying for a job position so that you will have enough time to convert available online content to reflect you in a positive (or at least neutral) way. In the best case, potential employers may find interesting work related information about you, like projects you used to work on. An updated LinkedIn profile can leave a good first impression and introduce you as a hard-working, committed employee.
3. Deactivate personalized search results
Google browser does not display the same results to all internet users. The results displayed to you depends on relevant factors like your current location, social contacts or websites visited before. That is why Google invented a special button for anonymous searching and more objective results. This button can be found at the right corner in your search engine.
4. Look through more than 1 page of results
Most people do not bother to click on more than one page of search results. Those hidden can proceed to the front. It is just a matter of time if there is relevant keyword.
5. Own primer results
LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are taken as preferable and authoritative, so primarily you are able to find results from such as social networks.
6. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
The LinkedIn network is the most visited social media website not only for people actively searching for a job, but also for recruiters who are researching candidates. Put keywords into your profile to clearly explain what you do and what kind of opportunity you are interested in. Even more helpful is to add your nametag at the end of your profile - after a foreslash (e.g. www.linkedin.com/in/PeterSvaty)
7. Take negatives with grace
Is there still some information about you online which you cannot remove? No worries. If asked about it at an interview be open and honest, and try to prepare a measured response.