Back again with another blog, amazing I know, but so far my “public” keeps clamoring for more! Actually, our Incepture Blog Coordinator, little Miss “you owe me a blog” keeps clamoring for more, so here we go again!
Ever wonder what perfect strangers know or can know about you? When I say “perfect strangers” I don’t mean Balki and Cousin Larry (anybody remember that show?) I mean the entire rest of the world including……….potential employers!
Yes, it is now a fact of life that you will probably be checked out through your web presence long before you walk through the door for an interview. What will they find?
The good news is that you can control a lot of what is out there; the bad news……There is still a lot there that can hurt you.
First Google yourself to see what they will see. I did my last name, which isn’t a very common name, and got 3,400,000 results. Adding my first name dropped that back to 300,000. As part of the 300,000 I learned that I am a freelance photographer in Hawaii and I was arrested for assault in New Jersey. As an aside, I once heard that the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that “drive by shootings” were common place enough in NJ that the damage had to be covered by your car’s comprehensive coverage! Can you imagine what it takes to get arrested in New Jersey?!! When I wasn’t in jail, I walked to end Alzheimer’s and my Facebook page profile picture was me holding a beer while two buddies blew through straws into my ears. I wish I were that interesting a person!
I was delighted to see that the number one Google hit was my real LinkedIn profile. Hopefully a potential employer would look at that before Mr. Straws!
So what’s a person to do? First, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, set one up, and ensure that your complete resume is included. The site will assist you with that. Connect with people you actually know, as mentioned in a prior blog that is part of networking. Put a professional picture of yourself on there. Many job sites will now allow you to apply through your LinkedIn profile, Incepture does. Use it, that way they will know which Joe Schmotz, of all the Joe Schmotz’s out there you are!
Second, clean up your Facebook page, set your privacy settings to not allow others to tag you in photos. (Privacy settings - those pesky little things that you agreed to knowing about when you signed up, and then never gave a second thought to again.) You should consider quitting Facebook groups that might lead to more questions. While the Young Communist League of Nova Scotia may sound like a fun, light your hair on fire kind of group, it may not play well with some future employers.
Sign up for Google alerts to see what is being written about you. And lastly, in the age where everyone has a camera in their phone, try not to do stupid stuff that someone will think is perfect for YouTube!
Good luck and until next time comment or follow me on twitter, at @KHCO00 (That’s KHCO zero zero)