We all know this, people will Google you, and in particular, if you happen to be in the search for a new job, a contract, or other employment related position, the chances are very high (estimated at 75%) that the hiring agent, HR person, or contractor will Google you. So what will the find? Hopefully you’ve checked and hopefully you’ve worked hard to develop a positive online presence.
A recent article titled “5 Google Results That Can destroy your Career” addresses this topic and indeed it is a very good reminder. So what kind of results does the author warn you to be aware of?
- A negative press mention
- Info about an arrest of other legal issue
- Negative online reviews
- Backlash from a break-up
- A slanderous blog or website
- Also, be aware of people who share your name
As a test and reminder, I Googled myself. No huge surprise that the top results were from social media accounts. Twitter and LinkedIn were top (yes this is important as HR people in particular will definitely look at these accounts). Youtube, google+ and images (Google images) are also top search results – note: Google images is important, particularly as there can easily be images of you or images that relate to you that turn out but they have been posted by other people, even enemies! Also of interest, accounts or services that you tested or no longer use will turn up so be aware of historical information and legacy accounts – consider removing these. Case in point, apparently I setup Quora and Vimeo accounts, neither of which are used by myself any longer and honestly, i have no idea what content they contain! As far as info being out there, think about this; some content that I post is automatically being fed into blogs and websites that are owned by people that I don’t know – essentially they are bots that scrape/eat content from an RSS feed. Once they scrape and post content that I may have shared online that’s it, I can’t remove or delete it, hence the importance of being absolutely sure when you hit Enter/Send! Finally, be aware that location services like Foursquare will also turn up so be aware where you checkin and what you say…
The article offers up some tips that could help, in particular, avoid doing or posting anything that will land you in a bad position – once you hit Send or Post it is out there and you can’t take it back!