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Catch the Wave: Surf the internet to protect your online reputation – and your job search

In today’s employment market, everybody is “catching the wave.”

As a job seeker, you probably use the internet to research potential employers and job opportunities. When you apply for jobs in Murfreesboro, those same employers are likely checking you out online, too.

What are they looking for? Hiring managers want to find out:

  • where you’ve worked
  • whom you associate with
  • what you’re involved in

As a responsible job seeker, it’s up to you to control what they find.

The best way to do this? Beat them to the punch. Proactively surf the internet to see what comes up when someone searches for your name. The process may sound vain, but it’s an important step in protecting your online reputation and ensuring your viability as a candidate.

Today, Wood Personnel is providing tips for monitoring your digital footprint, so you can remove information, photos or videos that you don’t want a potential employer to see:

1: Search

  1. Use more than one search engine. Google remains the world’s most popular search engine, and as such, it should be on the top of your list.  But many people use search engines other than Google. Consider also searching for your own name on sites like Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask.
  2. Use more than one search string. Typing in your own name is clearly the first step; but also try common misspellings of your name.
  3. Try a blog search engine. Blog posts won’t always rank high in standard search results, so run your name through a blog search engine to learn more about what others are saying about you.

2: Manage

  1. Use the available tools. To date, Google offers the best set of built-in tools for managing your online reputation, such as the option to strike some listings from Google search results pages. Remember, though, that these listings may appear on other search engines, so don’t rely on Google exclusively.
  2. Clean up after yourself. Clean up old profiles on social media or dating sites, as well as comments you’ve left on blog posts, by deleting or setting to private any information you don’t want prospective employers to see.
  3. Make requests when needed. When you can’t delete or make private a piece of information, a photo, or a video, contact the person who posted it or the site administrator and ask for assistance.

3: Maintain

  1. Keep track of all your “touch points.” Every online profile, comment and posting that can be tracked back to your name reflects on you in some way. Stay on top of your digital footprint and monitor it regularly.
  2. Avoid personal attacks and insults. They’ll only come back to haunt you. Even if your own profile is locked down, argumentative comments under your name may come up in search engine results if the other person’s profile is public. So if you must defend a point online, stick to the issue.
  3. Remember that the internet is forever. Even “deleted” information is often recoverable online to a sufficiently determined searcher. The best protection for your online identity is to avoid posting compromising information in the first place.

Looking for the best jobs in Murfreesboro – or anywhere in Middle Tennessee?

Wood Personnel has temporary and direct hire opportunities available immediately. Get to work – contact us today!