How to Clean Up Your Online Reputation

no photographyMost of us have a few bits of history in our background we wouldn’t necessarily want to flaunt to hiring managers. A university party that got a little out of hand or that one misunderstanding while out at the bar; the moments where we acted exactly like the immature kids we were at the time. The problem is that nowadays, some of those moments are recorded on the internet for all to see. A badly timed picture here, a less than praise-worthy post there – it all adds up, until before you know it, your internet reputation is enough to turn any hiring manager away.

Google Yourself

Start by assessing the available information out there to get a firm picture of what your internet reputation says about you. Google your name a few different ways, including cities and states where you have lived in the past. Browse through the first few pages of hits that come up, keeping in mind that most hiring managers won’t look beyond page 3 of results. Take note of anything you wouldn’t want hiring managers to see, including information that isn’t actually about you but rather someone else with your same name. Depending on the situation, this might be something you may want to address with a hiring manager before they begin searching themselves.

Search and Destroy

Seek out anything which could be questionable on your social networking accounts and delete it. This includes pictures and posts from several years ago; you never know what could come back to haunt you. Change your privacy settings to as strict as possible and restrict your Facebook account from appearing in search engine results. Don’t allow this to give you a false sense of security though. Just because you think your privacy settings are locked down does not mean they couldn’t somehow change in the future or that someone in your social network couldn’t inadvertently share something you wouldn’t want hiring managers to see. Remain cognizant of what you post, even after going through and cleaning up your profile. Additionally, if you discover something on the internet not posted by you that you would like to see removed, approach the site owners and ask them to take it down.

Begin a Burial Mission

Set out to create new and appealing content about yourself online. Become involved in local activities, such as charity races, where your name will likely appear alongside event updates. Start a blog and begin writing on topics that could set you apart as an expert in your field. Update your LinkedIn Profile or create a Tumblr account using your full name and begin taking appropriate pictures you wouldn’t be embarrassed to have a hiring manager see. Find ways to push any negative content about you online down in the search engine results, burying it with the positive content you are now creating.

Consider Hiring a Service

If all else fails, there are professional options to consider. Make a decision on how bad the information out there currently is and what your future career goals are. If you come to the conclusion that the only way for you to advance in your career will be to make some sweeping changes to your online reputation, begin contacting several different companies to see how they can help you. Compare price structures and promises made, and then allow them to do the work in making your online presence more professionally presentable.

Visit Resumes Australia to learn more about how we can influence your career, from growing your networks to helping you develop clear goals and strategies. Alternatively, take advantage straight away of our services here.


kylie hammond

About Kylie Hammond
Executive Search Consultant, Head-Hunter, HR Consultant, Executive Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer & Executive Talent Agent.

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