Online presence: Have you Googled yourself lately?

online presence: Have you googled yourself lately?

In today’s digital world ‘Googling’ yourself should not be seen as the height of narcissistic behaviour, but an essential, and regular health check of your online presence.

It’s no secret that many employers will check out your online presence – including social media profiles, before they invite you to an interview. They want to see what kind of person they are potentially going to hire – and guess what – many candidates won’t get through the door, because of what lurks out there!

Googling yourself is a quick way to help you tidy up any areas of social media, or other online presence you’ve forgotten about. Yes, you’ve deleted those ‘less than appropriate’ Facebook pictures you were tagged in back in 2008, and made your profile private, but it might not be enough.

Most people (including me) assume once they have made Facebook, Twitter and Instagram private, then they’re safe from prying eyes of employers.

Don’t be fooled.

The internet is a BIG place – and can expose you in a number of other ways.

Making sure all your social media accounts look professional – and are private where appropriate – is a good start. But Googling yourself may bring long-forgotten images, or even unknown online presence to your attention.

This includes people you are friends with or the people you follow on your social media accounts. Your pages might be inaccessible, but the people you associate with might not be. Any controversial, or inappropriate profiles or pages linked to your name could reflect badly on you in the eyes of an employer. Even if you followed them for a joke 5 years ago, an employer won’t know.

The option to ‘tag’ people is available on most social media sites. Again, your private pages won’t do much good if your friends have tagged you in photos on their own profiles. They  will be available for anyone to view online. Untag yourself, or ask your friends to remove any unsuitable or unflattering posts relating to you. And don’t forget you can add a setting to review all furture tags before they appear. Worth condsidering?

It’s also important to remember social media sites existed before Facebook and Twitter. MySpace, Bebo or Friends Reuinted anyone?

Unless you actually deleted your profiles on these sites, there’s a possibility your online presence from them may pop up if someone digs deep enough.

It might seem a little far-fetched but it is always better to be safe than sorry!

Too much?

It might seem a bit overboard and you’re probably wondering what employer has the time to dig so deep and find out all this irrelevant information about you.

To an extent, you’re probably right.

But it’s worth remembering; and a quick check really can’t hurt.

If an employer is seriously considering you for a role, the point is they could have access to much more information about you than you want to share. And if it’s a choice between you and another, those dodgy pages you liked could be enough to make them feel you won’t fit in the company culture.

In our digital world, your online presence is pretty important. Since you’ll be representing their business or company, they’re going to want to make sure you’re respectable and look good at face value – which is what anyone sees when looking at your online activity.

To prove this point, I Googled myself, and found a random old link to a rental page with a profile my partner and I created when we were looking for a house share. OK, so nothing too scandalous, but it’s made me want to dig a little deeper, just to be on the safe side.

And in furture, remember this social media golden rule. It’s quite simple. Never share anything you wouldn’t want your boss, or your mum, to see!

Happy Googling.

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