Once something is online, it is always online. It bounces from server to server. It gets downloaded and re-uploaded. It gets backed up, cached, stored, and reformatted. It’s everywhere and it will always be everywhere.
So when you use your name for anything, anywhere online it can potentially show up in a search. Your Internet presence is just that – a presence. If it’s associated with your name in any way, someone can find it and use it against you.
How Your Online Persona Works
If someone had access to everything you do online they would probably find several examples of the following:
- Facebook Wall Posts – “HAHAH, We TOTALLY got w8sted last nite, lol.”
- Twitter – “LOL Wut?! RT @OzzieGuillen Happy fathers day to all then look up for the childrens no a fake one”
- iLike Music – Now Playing: ‘Suga Suga’ by Baby Bash – “Treat you like my sticky ickey or my sweet oowy goowy (fa real though)”
There are countless more examples of this that you create every day when you are online. While most of these do not appear in search engines, some of it does, and what does appear could easily prevent you from finding a job. It may be unfair, but employers are going to find some of these examples, and they are going to see you as something other than a professional.
Before You Send in Your Resume – Find Your Online Presence
With that in mind, before you even begin your job search, you should search for your name online and see what your online presence is like. Chances are you have several things showing up that you would prefer employers not see. Start deleting. Email webmasters, block or delete profiles – do whatever it takes to clean up your online persona. Make sure that everything that comes up is professional. Assume that every employer searches for you on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Doing so drastically reduces your chances of being seen unprofessionally online.
Take Away Interview Tip
- Always prepare your online presence to be as professional as possible.