You have spotted the perfect job. You have taken the time to create a targeted CV. You have crafted the perfect cover letter. Fingers crossed.
when you tell your friends one of them jokingly suggests that if any prospective employers Google you, they will get a surprise.
You get your phone and type your name into Google, what do you see……. It’s okay, go and do it now . I can wait :0 )
Well, are you happy with the results, did you appear at all?
Many of our jobseeker clients have been surprised by how much Google knows about them and how much of their private life is online.
Sites like Twitter or Facebook and photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Instagram have made it easier than ever to share and publish information about yourself online. You can, of course, manage your privacy on these sites by limiting who specifically can see this information. You can share with a few friends, family members or everyone on the web.
But those controls don’t extend to everything you do online.
You may be mentioned in an online newspaper or blog post. For example, when you comment on a blog post, do you always use your own name or do you use a pseudonym?
Have you been tagged in a friend’s photo or Pinterest board?
When someone searches for your name on a search engine like Google, the results that appear are a combination of information you’ve posted and information published by others.
In the past year Google released a tool called Me On the Web to make it easier to monitor your online identity and to provide easy access to resources describing ways to control what information is on the web.
In my experience few people know it exists and fewer still make use of it. It is located in the Google Account options and only becomes available when you click on the Profile and Privacy link. But it provides some really useful tools to quickly check for names online and create alerts to be notified about new information posted on the Internet. Me on the web also gives some information and guidance about how to manage your online persona.
Me on the Web has three main tools.
1. You can search for your name online and see which results appear.
When you write or tweet be aware that these are the topics that will show up in your search results.
If I’m going to post a tweet about a wild night out with my sister, chances are it will appear on Google.
Make sure you’re updating your social networks on news and events that you want to be known for.
2. You can set up a Web Alert for your name so you’ll be notified when someone mentions it.
The web alerts is probably the most useful option. It allows you to create Google Alerts for your name or another name you specify. You will be notified by email once per day when new information appear online. You can modify the name or phrase you want to receive alerts from to narrow down the search or include searches for family members or colleagues as well.
3. There is a shortcut to your Google+ profile.
This profile can be customised to demonstrate your skills and abilities
If your search Results are not flattering
If you are embarrassed and want to eradicate your results on the web, Don Jackson director of Threat Intelligence at Dell SecureWorks as some bad news for you.
“It’s easier to change your real-life identity, put yourself into a do-it-yourself witness protection program than it is to change your identity on the Web”
If You Can’t Erase- Add New Content
There is no magic technology that can boost your search engine results or permanently things that are incriminating or embarrassing. However, what does work is being proactive, highlighting the stuff about you that you think is interesting or relevant and linking to it.
Four Ways to Add New Content
1. Create a Google profile.
This visible to anyone on the Web, and anyone with your email address can find it.You can customise the profile and select the information you want to display about yourself. You can include pictures, display contact information and link to other websites about you.
2. You can also use sites such as BrandYourself.com to create a professional persona.
BrandYourself provides simple, inexpensive, some are free, tools that allow you to take control of your online reputation. Their product makes it easy to take control of your search results, so when someone Googles you, positive and accurate information shows up in the results.
3. Create a profile on LinkedIn
When you create a profile on LinkedIn, a public version of your profile with basic information is automatically generated for the web. This public profile may show up when someone types your name into a search engine like Google.Your LinkedIn Profile contains fields where you can enter keywords. The more relevant ones include, the more likely you are to be picked up by LinkedIn and search engine searches.
4. Create a blog on Blogger or WordPress.
Search engines love Blogs especially when you update the content. The Blogs provide by WordPress and Blogger are structured to offer a high degree of search engine optimization.
So, it is up to you. Do you know who Google thinks you are?