If you’re in the process of applying for jobs and think that your resume and cover letter are the only things employers are taking into consideration, think again. According to a recent article on Glassdoor, 90% of hiring managers use Google to search for information about prospective employees. Not knowing what information about yourself exists on the Internet could be the difference between landing a job...and getting radio silence.
If you’ve disclosed your cancer history via your online social networks, it’s important to understand that potential employers might have access to that information.
In order to make your job search as successful as possible, be sure to spend time searching the Web for information about yourself first — and learn how to proactively build and protect your online image.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Google yourself. Feel weird about searching for your name on Google? Don’t! A recent survey shows that 75% of U.S. adults have searched for themselves online — and nearly half found results that weren’t necessarily positive. Even something you posted on Facebook years ago could be a red flag to a human resources manager. So figuring out how to limit what is shared is important. Fortunately, a visit to Google’s Privacy Center can help you determine what others see (or don’t see) in search results.
- Control social media settings. Negative search results can come straight from your social media accounts. Thankfully, each platform (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, LinkedIn) has privacy settings to give you more control over the levels of information that are shared publicly.
- Manage your online presence. It’s not all about finding and addressing negative search results. Generating positive results is possible, but might require a little more effort! One step you can take is to post new content that highlights your experience, accomplishments and interests. Another is to post content only on sites that allow you to control privacy settings. Setting up Google alerts with your name is also recommended; that way you’ll be the first to know when your name hits the web.
Keep in mind that whatever you say or do can easily become part of your digital footprint and have positive or negative repercussions when applying for a job. Employers may be able to access what you post, so it’s important to consider the effects of your online behavior. Our Balancing Work & Cancer webinar on Disclosure, Privacy & Online Brand gives tips for how to both protect and best present yourself online.
For more help with your job hunt, order or download a free copy of our Job Search Toolkit.