Since employers, potential employers, friends, acquaintances, and others are likely to look us up on Google, it is important that we also do this ourselves. So, here’s a question that you should be able to answer: If someone Googled you, do you know what the top listings would show? If there are negative links, do you know how to address them if someone were to ask you about them?
Consider these observations from Joshua Waldman, writing for Careerealism: “I like to tell my clients they will be Googled just as surely as it will rain in Portland tonight. Do you know what they will see when they find you? Online reputation management is a critical piece of your job search. There is just no getting around it, no matter what field you are in. In order to know how much effort to put in your re-branding efforts, you’ll need to assess how bad it is.”
- “Google your name and notice how many times the real you comes up on the first page, and also on the first three pages. Remember to use your first and last name as well as your first name, middle initial, and last name combinations. (If you have a common name, always use your middle initial when publishing anything online and on your social media profiles.)“
- “Use Pipl.com to search for your name. Does the real you come up? Pipl.com is the most comprehensive people search I’ve found online. It will reveal any criminal records, past address, and other skeletons. Recruiters use this all the time. So should you.”
- “Depending on these results, you may have a lot of work ahead of you to begin to rebuild your name. Use these data to figure out how much time you need to spend on this project.”