Social media is ever-present in our culture today and is used by job seekers to find new positions and recruiters to find new candidates. Blog posts, photographs, videos, and participation in forums are always searchable, even if the original source was deleted. Because there is no way to eliminate negative information on the internet, job seekers occasionally need to find ways to improve their overall profiles. There are a few simple things everyone can do to improve an online reputation and make sure employers are finding the right information.
- Google yourself. Before you can do anything about it, you need to know what it says. Google your own name in any form it may be used and see the results. Most employers will not scroll past the first two or three pages, so you only need to concentrate your efforts there. If you find anything that you don’t want to see, bookmark the site so you can return to it when you have a solution.
- Replace negative with positive. Search engines rank websites searches and clicks If you do find something negative on the first couple of pages the best solution is to create positive information to replace it. Start a blog where you can showcase your expertise in your industry and continuously add content. Promote it on social media and as it becomes more popular it will appear in search results.
- Removal requests. If you find something that may be more concerning on a website that is owned by another individual, you can ask that it be removed. This information may still be available in web archives but it may no longer show up in a potential employer’s search. Don’t be rude or threatening but simply ask the site owner that they consider removing this information.
- Look at your privacy settings. Every social media site that you use has different privacy controls. For example, many users will focus on LinkedIn for professional networking and keep Facebook for interacting with friends and family. Set your LinkedIn profile is accessible and complete and make sure your Facebook settings are for friends only. You can still post your personal photos and not worry about judgment by a future employer. A good rule to use on social media is to never post anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see.
Do you want to work with a local company who has a great reputation? Contact Harvard Resource Solutions to talk to a recruiter about your next opportunity.