When you apply for a professional job, your potential employers will probably ask for a resume, a cover letter, and some references, and they’ll base their initial search on these documents. But as the interview process moves forward and the candidate pool narrows, most modern employers also conduct background checks. And almost no company will extend a formal offer to their final contender without completing a quick search of the candidate’s name online.
So how can you make sure this final online review supports your chances instead of holding you back? Keep these simple reputation management tips in mind.
Social media should be your first stop.
Your social media posts and profiles are the easiest part of your online reputation to control, and they also tend to appear on the first page of search results when employers Google your name. So before you make another move, visit your blog, Facebook, and Twitter profiles and lock down your privacy settings. Remove or adjust settings on any publically available posts or pictures that might lead to questions about your reliability. Use your judgement, and scan your profile from an employer’s point of view. If you think something may be too personal to share with the world, it probably is.
Check your Linkedin page.
Your Linkedin profile (if you have one) probably isn’t filled with personal oversharing and goofy photos, but double check your posted information to make sure every detail makes you proud and represents you accurately.
Check your headlines.
A search of your name may produce results that make you cringe a little. For example, an awkward quote you gave for a local newspaper or an unflattering image from your teen years. Most of these findings aren’t as bad as you think, but if something truly won’t do, contact the webmaster and ask politely to have the picture or article taken down. You may not get results, but you may as well try.
Check your comments.
Everything you say online in a comment thread or forum may be available to anyone who diligently looks you up. If you have a habit of making comments you later regret, now may be a good time to change that practice. In the meantime, make an attempt at damage control. Watch your retweets, Facebook comments, blog contributions, and reviews.
Flood the airwaves.
Attack your online reputation from all sides. In addition to clearing up damaging information, flood your blog and profiles with positive news, insightful comments, and information that establishes you as a thought leader within your areas of interest.
For more on how to control your online reputation and leverage your posts and tweets while you look for work, reach out to the career management experts at Cordia Resources.