What Can Employers Find About You Online?

by Ron on April 13, 2010

Guest Post by Val Nelson
If you’re looking for jobs or contract work, take a minute now for a quick look online. Employers definitely search online and they can find out a lot!
Hopefully they can find lots of good stuff about you and nothing bad. How do you rate?
Take these two essential steps.

magnifyGuest post by Val Nelson

If you’re looking for jobs or contract work, take a minute now for a quick look online. Employers definitely search online and they can find out a lot!

Hopefully they can find lots of good stuff about you and nothing bad. How do you rate?

Take these two essential steps.

1. Google Yourself.

Do a Google search of your name and city (as written on your resume) to see what employers are finding about you.

  • If there’s good stuff, great.
  • If there’s bad stuff, yikes. Read on.
  • If nothing, why not? There should be something online if you want work! Get a LinkedIn profile and a Google profile at least. Consider a VisualCV (an in-depth online résumé) or a YouTube video video sample to introduce yourself to employers.

Even after you update a few things online, it may take a week or so for Google search results to catch up.

2. Review Your Facebook Profile in Depth.

Facebook profiles are PUBLIC by default. Yours might be public and you don’t even realize it. Even if you make a lot of it private, employers may be able to get around that if they know some of your Facebook friends.

  • Look at your Facebook profile from an employer’s perspective and dig around.
  • Surveys have shown that hiring managers and human resource professionals actively use social media sites to research job candidates, and they make positive and negative decisions based on what they find.
  • If you see something a smidge questionable, consider removing it or at least make sure you have privacy settings in place. You can even exclude certain “friends” from seeing things. Be sure to consider whether some friends work for your prospective employer.
  • Repeat this with other social media communities you have used. Do you still have a MySpace profile out there?

How Much Is Too Much?

Don’t worry about expressing your true self online. I believe in letting people see the real you. Then you’re more likely to draw the right employment situation for you.

But you’ll want to consider removing that drunken frat party photo unless that’s related to who you want to work for.

What you project, you will attract.

Resources for Job Seekers

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Val Nelson provides career and business coaching for heart-centered individuals and businesses. She has helped hundreds of people clarify and mobilize their unique superpowers, and breathe easier with online and real-life communications, so they can make their mark. She has a gift for matching people to their right path and she offers expert knowledge from a background in communications, marketing, HR, management, and health care.

For more information, see her website and blog at www.valnelson.com .

Photo by Brooks Elliot on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Lida Citroen April 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm

A recruiter once told me how she finds info on candidates referred to the company by current employees. She simply asks the employees (while standing with them) if they can pull up their friend’s Facebook page. Voila! We might block non-friends, but our friends can show others.

Nothing you put online should be considered “private”. End of story.

Thanks for a great article, Val!

Lida

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