What’s one very necessary part of your job search? Monitoring your online reputation. So Google your own name! You need to know what employers are going to see when they search it.
Employers research potential employees more than 80% of the time, according to recent research. If you’ve applied for a job or are being considered for a job, the name you put on your resume or application will probably be Googled
Do you know what results show up if someone Googles your name?
People have had their job searches damaged by their own mistakes—posting inappropriate photos or videos online or making nasty comments on blogs and other public forums.
Sometimes it’s someone else’s mistakes that can harm you—if someone with your same name did something illegal or stupid, like robbing a bank or posting revealing personal photos. Few employees will take the time to double-check what they see online. If there is any confusion or uncertainty, they’ll just move on to the next applicant.
So, what should you do?
1. Know what online content is associated with your name.
Run your search. If there are no issues, consider yourself very lucky. If there are issues, the steps below will help you address them.
2. Pick a clean, relatively unique version of your name to use publicly.
Assume that, unless your name is very unique, someone else with the same name will turn up eventually, so use more than your first and last name.
If there is harmful content about you online, or if you share a name with someone who has a bad online reputation, find and claim a “clean” version of your name.
Add your middle name or middle initial, turn your first and middle name into initials, or figure out some other change that makes your name unique (but still professional).
3. Establish, or re-name, your LinkedIn and Google profiles with the clean name.
You have two powerful platforms to clean up your online presence: LinkedIn and Google. You can control what they tell the world about you. And Google ranks both sites’ results high on Google search results pages.
Go to Linkedin.com and profiles.Google.com to set up or modify your profiles—using your “clean name.”
Going forward, use that “clean name” online, on your resume, on everything public that’s associated with your work/professional life. Don’t use one version on your resume and another on your LinkedIn profile.
The Bottom Line? Monitoring and managing your online reputation is a necessity in today’s job market. The sooner you get started, the better for your job search and career.
And if you need more advice on how to find the perfect job, or help finding it—contact Clark Personnel today!