Do You Know What an Employer Will Find When They Google You?


It’s natural to do some research on the company before you go in for an interview. But did you also know that the company is doing plenty of research on you too? Recruiters regularly conduct online searches on candidates before deciding whether or not to offer them the chance to interview. A research report from ExecuNet revealed that 77 percent of recruiters use search engines to find background information about candidates, and 35 percent admitted they would eliminate a candidate from consideration based on information found online.

What will a recruiter find if they do a Google search for you? Will they find positive information about you? What about your social network profiles — will they find out anything interesting about you there?

What employers may find when they Google you:

  • Any articles or blog posts or graphics you’ve published under your name (may not be a bad thing);
  • Photos that have been tagged with your name (by you and other people – even the embarrassing ones!);
  • Social media posts going back years (they are archived forever) including the negative ones;
  • Those videos you posted on YouTube when you were in college (uh oh); and
  • Public records that include driving records, judgments, civil and criminal records, property tax information, divorce and marriage records, and more.

Here are some tips for cleaning up your online image so that when a potential employer searches for you online, what they find won’t damage your chance for a job.

Do a thorough search for your own name and aliases

First and foremost, think like a recruiter and do a search for yourself online. Make a list of everything you find. Pay close attention to anything that could be damaging to your reputation, such as derogatory social posts, images, videos, and records. Search under your aliases too (nicknames and former maiden names for women).

Remove any harmful content that you can

Take matters into your own hands by logging into your profiles and deleting any and all harmful content. Un-tag yourself from compromising photos and videos. Ask your friends and family to stop tagging you on photos and other content. Set all your social media profiles to the strictest privacy settings, or delete your accounts altogether.

Request records older than seven years to be archived

In some cases, you can request your state or county to take down public records that are older than seven years and archive them. This can include driving records, judgements, and court cases that have been dismissed. You may be eligible for expungement of your records, too.

Be prepared to discuss anything found online

It’s impossible to erase everything about yourself online, but you can be prepared to discuss it in a positive and honest way if it comes up in the hiring process. Most recruiters know that people make mistakes, so as long as you are willing to talk through any potential online reputation issues, and they don’t affect the company in any way, you should be clear.







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