Employers are looking up job seekers online – make no mistake. And, while many employers seek out job candidates through searches of online databases, an increasing number turn to the Internet to screen out potential hires. In mere minutes, hiring managers can turn up Facebook profiles, personal websites, blog posts, social networking memberships, discussion forum comments, photographs and other goodies.
Are you easy to find online?
If you’ve got a common name, you may be able to hide your online presence. After all, Joe Smith and Jane Wong are hardly alone in the world. But, for those of us with less common names, employers may have an easier time finding the online trail of bread crumbs. And savvy employers may add resume, geographic, demographic and hobby details to pull up the goods on even “Joe Smith” who hails from Fernie, plays hockey in Vancouver, graduated UBC in 1994, belongs to a particular engineering association and runs a blog on triathlons.
Manage your online brand
To counter the information found by employers, start by looking yourself up online. Begin with search engines and then move on to other sites where you have an online presence. Consider using privacy settings to manage your social networking sites profiles. If your Facebook profile includes a photo, rethink your decision to use an image that shows you partying or in compromising situations. Once you’ve got a sense of what’s involved in your online image, take steps to manage your online brand.
Related to managing what employers find out about you online
• Personal websites and email addresses for job seekers
• Brand yourself online
• Email etiquette
• Business networking online
• Voice mail for job seekers