It is so easy to find people online nowadays. With multiple search engines and many different social networks, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that everyone has some form of an online presence. Do you know what yours is?
In my past I have worked for organizations that allowed me to search online for information about people who were applying to work as a volunteer for us. The first thing I would do was Google their name and then I would check their social networking pages to see what I could find out. Were their profile pictures showing them doing things we wouldn’t want a representative of our business doing? If so then their application was put to the side. If their page was “clean,” or at least locked so I couldn’t see anything I shouldn’t, then they would move on to the next step in the process and still be considered.
When was the last time you stepped back and viewed the profile pages you have on the net as if you were a prospective employer? It might be time that you take a few minutes out of your hectic schedule and make sure that what you’re putting out there is an appropriate representative of you. One that a potential new employer would want to see. It never hurts to take anything down that might be questionable. If you don’t plan to change anything on your profiles, then at least consider making them private and putting them on lock down.
I have heard of more and more businesses taking the time to check people out on the net so they can get a better insight to them. We all clean up nicely and can provide proper answers in an interview, but companies want to know it isn’t just an act. Although they may have held you captive for 20-30 minutes in an interview, just how much can they really discover about you. By searching online they can sometimes obtain additional information that will help move you forward or bring your application to a screeching halt.
Go ahead, cyber stalk yourself for a day. The next time you take a moment to Google your blind date, consider that they might be doing the same to you and check yourself out for a change. Your online presence can be a powerful part of selling yourself to a new company, so make wise decisions about what you put online and take charge about what can be seen. After all, we all want to be seen as the perfect choice whether it is for a date or a new job so make sure your online “bios” match that image.