The importance of the online image …

when it comes to the all-important job search.  Know what is out there and how it can help or hurt.

Find Yourself (on the Internet)

If you have any Web presence at all–even an anonymous blog or a habit of forwarding annoying e-mail messages to relatives–you should google yourself regularly. Occasionally, you’ll also want to run an in-depth online background check. And depending on the industry you want to work in, you may want to pay for a professional online background check. Here are some tips for finding yourself:

1. Search for your name in quotation marks (such as “Steven Smith”) and without them (Steven Smith) to see what comes up. Also search any variations of your name (like “Steve,” “Steve-o,” and “Stephen”) as well as all the usernames you use for any online service, in case hiring managers try to be clever.

2. Use site-specific searches for the Websites of companies you have worked for and schools you have attended. This is especially important if you’re looking for jobs that require a certain presence. For example, searching Google for Sarah Jacobsson Purewal proves that I’m not lying when I say I write for PCWorld.

3. Use keywords. Hiring managers will most likely look for information relevant to the job you’re applying for–such as “Sarah Jacobsson Purewal” freelance writer, but go ahead and search for your name along with worst-case-scenario terms–such as “drunk,” “arrested,” or “wanted”–just in case. This is also a good way to find out if you share a name with a criminal or otherwise unsavory character. In one sense, this may be better for you, since you can attribute any bad search results to the other person; on the other hand, it’s probably no treat to look for a job if your name happens to be Ted Kaczynski.

Head over to the source for more on this important subject.  And if you still think that it isn’t important, remember this tidbit from the article:

Then my mother sent me an e-mail with a photo she’d found of me–not an embarrassing one, but still not terribly professional. If my mother–whose most advanced technological skill is hitting Ctrl-C to copy text–could find that photo, what could a hiring manager with a middle-schooler’s level of technological savvy unearth?

A whopping 70 percent of human resources professionals have rejected potential candidates because of their online information, according to a Microsoft study. The good news: 86 percent of HR professionals said that a positive online reputation favorably influenced a candidate’s application to “some extent.”


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About brvanlanen

Just a thirty-something guy currently hanging it up in the greater Green Bay area. My post-high school educational background is mainly in the Information Technology field. Specifically I have an A.A.S. in Computer Network Systems and a B.S. in Information Systems Security, both from ITT Technical Institute, in addition to A and MCDST certifications. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and sports. My Christian faith is also important to me as a Missouri-Synod Lutheran and all my children attend a Lutheran grade school. When it comes to political leanings I am a conservative first and foremost which you will discover rather quickly. As for sports I am a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers.

Posted on March 30, 2011, in Facebook, FourSquare, Internet, Jobs, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Networking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The importance of the online image ….

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