Social media has grown in influence over the years. It has become a huge part of our everyday lives. We use it in many ways to connect with our friends, our family and our co-workers. But did you realize prospective employers also utilize it to discover information about you that is not contained within a background check? Knowing this you should take some steps to ensure you are seen in the very best possible light!
First, google yourself utilizing your full name and common variations of your name. Does anything come up that will raise red flags to an employer? Is there another individual with your name noted in a negative manner? If any of these scenarios pop up, you should try to build up your online presence by creating a positive one. One of the simplest ways to do so is by commenting on articles that are within your field. Focus on sites that promote points most employers would favor. Concentrate on larger blogs, with a high page rank, as well as online news media (i.e., cnn, msn, yahoo), as these will show up first in google searches. Make sure to also conduct a name search on bing.com, yahoo.com and ask.com. Note, ask.com is also known as aj.com.
Second, check pictures that pop up when you conduct a search of your name. Are there any pictures that note you in a compromising situation? Perhaps showing you in a manner that will be frowned upon? Again attempt to saturate the search engines so that those pictures are not shown on the first few pages of a search, as most employers review the first ten pages. If the compromising pictures are on Facebook, I’ve discovered a great program from Wisk the laundry detergent called WISK-IT that will erase Facebook pictures. WISK-IT works just like the Wisk laundry detergent. It cleans your mess and you don’t even need Clorox!
Third, check Twitter lists that include you, focusing on the name and creator. If the name listed is positive, example social media, this will benefit you especially if its within the field you are seeking employment. If its also created by an individual who is already established within said industry that’s an added bonus. However, if you are listed in a negative list, example slimey list, it can have an adverse impact. If you find that you are listed in a list that can be detrimental,you must block the creator of the list to have your name removed.
Can you think of any other ways social media can be detrimental to your job search? If so, please let us know by sharing your knowledge in a comment!