By Kelsie Beckfield, director of career services, Globe University–Eau Claire
Have you ever Googled yourself to check your online presence? If not, do it now. Many employers search for applicants’ names online prior to offering an interview or extending an offer. With a potential job at stake and plenty of competition, follow these three steps to ensure you have a favorable online presence:
1. Search Yourself
Search for your name to see what is already on the Internet about you. Search using Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or other search engines. If you get many results for people with your same name, try adding information such as your city or state. Also try pipl.com and spokeo.com, which use your name and location.
2. Edit Yourself
Now that you know what is out there about you, it’s time to edit. Some information from sites like pipl and spokeo is pulled from tax and housing forms, which you can’t edit. However, you can access all of your social media sites and edit your privacy settings. If you have a Facebook page, edit your general, photo and application privacy. Visit Facebook’s help site for more details.
3. Create a Positive Image
Two sure fire ways to ensure a favorable online presence are create a professional profile on LinkedIn, and start a blog through a free site like Google’s Blogger. LinkedIn is the go-to site for recruiters, HR professionals and smart job seekers, therefore it’s more important than ever to make sure your LinkedIn profile presents you well.
Blogging is another way many professionals are elevating their status online. In addition to the original content you publish to your blog, there are a number of other ways to come up with great content, such as writing book and article reviews for content you find interesting. Interviewing instructors or leaders in your field of study also makes great online content. By controlling the information you release to the public—content you find and share, and your original content—you can begin to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
The more you use these tools, the sooner your posts or professional profile will begin to be listed above your Facebook page or news articles on search engines creating a positive online presence.