Searching for a job is one of the most stressful parts of being an adult. Finding postings that fit your skills, perfecting your resume, going on interviews; it can be tough! Having a negative online presence, though, can make the process even harder. Whether you have old posts that you aren’t proud of or someone has posted something bad about you, your online reputation could turn job recruiters off.
Unfortunately, while 90 percent of recruiters say they do online research when choosing a candidate for a job, only 27 percent give applicants the chance to explain themselves. For this reason, you need to do a clean-up of your online persona before you even start applying for jobs.
To start, search for your name on Google. There may be mentions of you that you didn’t even know about! While some of these surprise results might be positive (like a news story about an award you won in high school), others may harm your chances of getting a job.
For example, maybe you got into a fight with someone and they posted something negative about you online. Whether it’s on social media or a hater website like shesahomewrecker, true or not, employers will pass you over. Drama in your personal life reflects poorly on your personality and professionalism, even if it’s totally made up. If nasty posts are plaguing your online reputation, try a post-removal service. They’ll get the post taken down off the website as well as any other similar sites and search engines so you can show employers the true you.
Don’t forget to also audit your own profiles during your job hunt. Many celebrities have been publicly shamed for social media posts they made years ago and the same could happen to you, except it could cost you a job. Go back through all your posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and any other platforms you’ve used, deleting anything unprofessional. This includes vulgar language, nudity, controversial opinions, and excessive negativity. If you don’t have the time or don’t want to clean up your profiles, at least set them to private.
LinkedIn has become one of the top sites recruiters use to find and decide on job candidates. Make sure that yours is updated, professional, and comprehensive. Did you receive a scholarship? Jot it down! Did you have an unpaid summer internship? List it! The more positive information you can add to your profile, the better you look to potential employers. Just make sure that you only include true information. Recruiters can spot a lie or exaggeration a mile away, especially if you make it to the interview stage.
Finally, don’t leave any room for confusion when recruiters search for you online. Many people in the world might have the same name as you and if they have a negative online reputation, you could suffer from it. Make sure your profiles include a current photo and job position as well as where you live. Employers will be able to compare this information against your resume to make sure the profiles they are viewing belong to you.
Some past mistakes or a vengeful ex-friend shouldn’t keep you from getting the job of your dreams. Follow these steps to show recruiters the best, most accurate picture of you as a professional.