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Cleaning Up Your Online Presence Before Engaging in a Job Search

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When you meet someone new or are thinking of doing business with someone, what is one of the first things you do? Google them. That’s exactly what employers do too when they’re evaluating applicants for open positions. In today’s world, it’s kind of hard to not have an online presence unless you stay off the grid and don’t engage in any type of social media or online business. So of course, something is going to show up, and as a job seeker, you want to make sure it is positive information and doesn’t reflect poorly on you.

Before you start sending out your resume, it’s a good idea to snoop around online and see just what information and images are floating around with your name attached. If there are things you see that you don’t like, now is the time to try to get them removed before a potential employer would see.

Conduct an Internet Search

One of the easiest ways to check your online presence is to conduct an Internet search. Go to sites like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing and search your name. If something negative pops up, try contacting the web master or author to see about getting it removed. You may have to do some searching, but you can usually find at least some sort of contact information to start the process.

Polish Up Your Social Media

It’s also a good idea to check out what the general public can see when looking at your social media accounts. If there are questionable pictures, posts, articles, videos, or other information, delete it. If it was posted by someone else, see if you can untag yourself or have them remove it. You can also adjust your privacy settings to limit what others see.

Build Up Your Positive Presence

While you can’t control everything that may pop up, you can boost the impression you make by sharing positive information. Post blogs that showcase your knowledge in your field, or share articles relevant to your industry to show you’re in touch with what is happening. Create an online portfolio that includes your resume and projects you have completed that you are proud of and which demonstrate your abilities.

Don’t forget to make sure everything is cohesive – that means that what is on your resume matches what is on your LinkedIn profile and online portfolio. You don’t want to raise a red flag by showing potential employers conflicting information about your education or work experience.

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