You may not have thought about it at the time, but that embarrassing post on your Facebook page just might cost you a new job opportunity. Many people do not realize that recruiters are looking at their online profiles to make a decision about candidates. And if you list your website or Facebook profile on your resume or LinkedIn profile, you are inviting them to check it out. But what if you have something on there that you’re not proud of? Even businesses have to be concerned with what is available on the internet about them.
Find Out the Truth
You know about what is on your Facebook page or Twitter posts, but what about the stuff you don’t know? Start by doing a Google search to see what comes up. Look at the first few pages to see if there is anything negative. Mark anything you find to be dealt with later. Sign up for alerts to let you know when new information is added about you.
Add More Good Stuff
Create new content about yourself that is more professional. This can include starting a new blog or website for professional purposes or other activities that will look good to a recruiter. For instance, if you are interested in graphic design, put up a website with some of your work.
Remove the Bad
Get rid of as much of the negative stuff as you can. Take down photos from your website or social media page and ask friends to do the same. You do have to realize that much of what is on the internet gets archived, so it may be impossible to remove everything. You can also ask bloggers to remove negative things that have been said about you, but remember it can backfire and add more fuel to their blog.
Wait it Out
Once you have done all you can to improve your online reputation, you must realize that it takes time to clean up an online reputation. Just be sure that you have learned from your past mistakes and don’t add anything new to the online information about you that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see.