If you’re currently looking for a job, you should know that job hunting isn’t just about crafting an excellent resume and compelling cover letter.
It’s also about your online reputation.
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Do you ever Google your name?
A polished online presence is critical to landing your dream job. Candidates who compete with you know that recruiters will check their names online, so they invest time in curating their reputation on the web.
That’s why you should optimize your LinkedIn profile and review social media posts.
Here are three steps to help you take control of your online reputation and get invited to more job interviews:
1. Remove compromising Google mentions.
Start by logging out of your Google account if you have one. You should do this because the search engine will personalize results based on account activity.
Next, type in your name. Keep in mind that having a common name might mean that you won’t rank on Google at all.
If you spot disturbing results, such as a copy of your signature or pornographic images, head straight to this page and follow Google’s procedure for removing such items.
For more tame content, Google suggests that you file takedown requests with individual sites.
Don’t forget to check Google Images as well. If you see anything that could damage your online reputation, remove problematic visuals at support.google.com.
Recruiters might be using alternative search engines such as Bing and DuckDuckGo. To be safe, you should search for your name on those as well and use the appropriate feedback forms to submit takedown requests.
2. Review your posting history.
A recent survey revealed that 60 percent of recruiters use social networks to research candidates.
Recruiters will be able to see what you’ve posted online. That’s why you need to review your social profiles before applying for a job.
If you spot any compromising content, don’t think twice: Delete all of it. If you hide these posts, others might take screenshots and share them for everyone to see.
Extra tip: Remember to regularly check privacy settings and policies of the social networks you’re using. These often change and you need to be 100 percent sure that private content is hidden from recruiters.
Decide how much information you’ll share publicly and set the right privacy settings to control who can see your profile and posts.
On Facebook, start with Privacy Shortcuts to limit the visibility of your profile.
But don’t go overboard with setting your profiles to private. If recruiters can’t find you online, they might move on to candidates who are more transparent and use social media to boost their personal brand.
3. Use your online presence to demonstrate your skills.
Now you can focus on building an excellent online reputation.
Show recruiters that you’re an active part of the online community by joining relevant LinkedIn groups and sharing your expertise with other users. You can create and post your content on LinkedIn’s blogging platform as well.
To build a reputation in your niche, you need to optimize your LinkedIn profile.
Ask your supervisors and colleagues to give recommendations and endorsements. They serve as social proof of your skills.
Don’t forget that your online and offline image should blend into one personal brand. If you present yourself as a talented graphic designer on your resume, have an online portfolio with your best work ready.
Natalie Severt is a career expert at Uptowork – Your Resume Builder (uptowork.com). She writes about how to create successful resumes so that you can land your dream job. When she isn’t writing, she reads complicated novels. Follow her at
Interested in writing for “Business Perspectives”? Contact Tom Shine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316-268-6268.