When you apply for a job, you are giving a stranger permission to track you online. According to a recent study, more than 90% of hiring executives use the search results of Google when considering hiring executives. Therefore, when applying for a new job you must search far and wide to see what the search results say about you and then dig into each social media platform to prevent any chances of you being denied a job based on what’s lingering online.
For your name it’s important to check the search results. If you do not like what you see, you can rest assured that the hiring manager will not like it either and you will not get the job. Use the private browsing option that hides your location when doing such a search, because you want to view what job recruiters see. Looking great on Google takes effort and time, and it is never too early to get started. If you found a mugshot, arrest record, or fake news article online that’s defaming it’s okay to be upset but stay calm as there are ways to resolve these issues and help you land that dream job of yours here in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. For starters, if you’re trying to start fresh after a turbulent past, legally changing your name might be your best bet.
Find below some reputation management tips we got from Richart Ruddie, an industry veteran with more than 10 years of experience and Maryland native. Ruddie’s advice will help you embark on this journey of leveraging positive search results for your next job with as much effort and determination as possible.
Be wary about what you share online
Search engines are digging deeper into LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites to index as much relevant content as possible about things, places, and people. Employers can easily find out information such as your education, your hobbies, your date of birth, and much more in the search results. “The findings that prospective employees leave on Facebook can be downright scary”, says Ruddie. Headhunters can also determine where you have worked before and for how many years with a quick search on Linkedin or Facebook. If recruiters find out that you interact with girls and make lewd remarks about them or did keg stands during spring break the week before your job interview, well, you can forget about getting your dream job. The important part is that you should only share good and relevant stuff online, including posts related to your field of experience.
Positive posting advantages
Never post photographs you would not want potential employers to see. Of course, you can change Twitter settings to only allow invited people to see your tweets or alter your privacy settings to restrict your Facebook content to allow friends and friends of friends to see your posts. However, these social media behemoths change the privacy settings all the time; therefore, it is better to err on the side of caution. Be careful about sharing private information such as your address, telephone number, and date of birth. For example, sharing your age with a potential employer might affect how he or she perceives your level of experience. You can also control what others can see on aboutme.google.com.
Start managing your online image today
It is vital to Google yourself far in advance before applying for a job. This permits you to create new and relevant content and take down negative content. Most people Google their name only once. This is a mistake. You should repeat the process and do a deep dive before and during the job process. Richart Ruddie’ Florida based search results are different from the ones in Washington, D.C. The reason for this is that search results are based on location and previous searches. Keep this in mind when trying to influence your search results as search engine optimization aka “seo” varies, so a deep dive and upload of positive images and not uploading any potentially bad images is the best way to protect yourself. The potential employer will typically look for several positive search results like the projects you have worked on, a Facebook page that shows you in a positive light, and LinkedIn endorsements. Can you imagine the negative impression a potential recruiter might have about you if he or she finds a Facebook post stating that you took a sick day off from work because you wanted to attend a party? How about if you were involved in an arrest or had complaints on a Glassdoor page from your previous co-workers?
Create a blog and add fresh and positive content
Create a WordPress blog if you already do not have one. If possible, use your name in the domain name. If someone has already taken that domain, try to use one that describes you best. Once you have created your account, you need to add fresh content to it regularly. Remember to include posts that highlight your areas of expertise. If you are a designer, include your designs with the posts as well. Think about the questions clients will ask about you and write posts containing answers to those queries. Share your WordPress posts and request your friends to share them too. Do not forget to add your name to the metatags. Doing so ensures that your name will appear in the search results when somebody searches for your name. Create links to your blog from all of the social media accounts you have created. Find interview sites you can share your story on and look at how other potential candidates appear online and replicate where you can.
Look past the first page of search results
Do not worry if your name shows up on the second page of search results because you have a common name. In this case you should showcase your personal webpage in your resume to showcase the great attributes that set you apart. It is a fact that most clients or employers will rarely bother to look past the first page of search results. If however you’re a victim of online defamation then you may need to consult with a lawyer to help remove negatives and receive potential damages. This is where one of Richart Ruddie’s services as an expert witness for online defamation removal may come in handy. Remember there are a lot of cyber bullies and trolls out there that love to demonize and harass innocent people online. It’s a crisis in and of itself and there are so few defenses out there to protect victims who are bullied online. It’s important to be forthcoming about this if you are in the middle of the job interview process and it comes up.
Also Remember, your details on page 2 of search results could suddenly appear on page 1. When searching for yourself on Google, make sure that your pictures appear under the "Images" tab. Always post professional-looking images.
Seeking help from satisfied customers
Request satisfied customers and post third-party reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, LinkedIn, and Yelp -- whichever is appropriate to your current job. If you consider taking the leap at some point what would be better than being able to show real life testimonials and reviews from past happy patrons that you helped service? You can share these positive reviews that they have posted on your resume and bring them up during your interview. This is a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd of applicants.
These are some of the tricks of leveraging search results for your next job.