These days, it’s pretty easy to find information about someone you don’t know. Just spend a few minutes on Google and you can likely find out where someone lives, where they work, what their hobbies are, and myriad of other personal info. Many companies and recruiters do this to screen out job candidates — if your resume says “professional” but your Facebook is full of wild party pictures, you may be in trouble! So it’s a good idea to review your online reputation, and here’s how:
According to KBSD Digital Marketing, 78 percent of recruiters do a search engine check to learn more about those they are thinking about hiring. A whopping 63 percent of recruiters check social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. If that doesn’t convince you to delete that less-then-flattering picture of you from last Friday at the bar, at the very least, it’s a good idea to make your Facebook page hidden from people who you don’t personally accept as friends.
Here are just a few additional suggestions of how to paint yourself in a more positive light online.
1. Secure Your Information
This is a big one. You want to be sure your accounts are secure from hackers and that no one else can post on your behalf on social media sites. In addition, it’s a good idea never to use your full name, birthdate, address or any other personal information.
You can’t know what other people are finding out about you if you don’t regularly do searches for yourself and see what comes up. To make this easier, you can also set up Google alerts for your name so you will be emailed when someone uses your name online.
3. Highlight the Positive
Make sure you highlight the good things you are doing. If you’ve joined the board of a nonprofit organization, raised money for cancer research, or walked dogs for the Humane Society, be sure to tweet about it, update your status, and even write a blog post about it. This will work to counteract any negative online chatter out there.