Is Your Digital Dirt Preventing Job Offers?
Clean Your Online Presence and Social Media
With the advent of social media and a pervasive online presence for every individual, there's an entirely new way to screen applicants for a job. Over 70% of employers now research a potential employee's profile online before hiring them, and over 57% have decided against a hire based on the digital dirt that they found. There are legal restrictions for employers about the use of this information but unfortunately, it isn't something you are likely to learn about in determining your hiring status. Therefore, it's incredibly important for you to make sure that your online and social media presence won't affect your ability in the job market.
Do a Search
Plug your own name into Google. It's a simple step and a vital one, but something that far too many people overlook. Something as simple as a Google search can quickly reveal to you the extent of your digital dirt; an employer may find it unfavorable. Plus, since this kind of search is one of the most common things an employer will do, you'll be able to look at yourself and your social media through their eyes.
Scour Your Social Media
Facebook can be the single biggest threat to you getting hired. Not only is it one of the first places your employer will go, but it's also a social media site on which a lot of users tend to let their guard down. Something that you may think of as innocuous may be a deal-breaker for employers. Your best bet is to delete the page, but at the very least you'll need to clean it up. Remove any unprofessional pictures or questionable status updates, be meticulous about your privacy settings, and make sure your employment history is up to scratch. Though Facebook is the worst offender you should do the same with any other social media profiles you have floating around. Personal pages such as these are one of the biggest sources of digital dirt available.
Drown Out the Bad, In With the Good
A surprisingly effective way to get your digital dirt out of a search engine is to simply ask. Email the author of the page asking them to remove the article, remove your name, or even just to tweak the SEO so it's not as highly ranked. It won't always work, but it's always worth a try. Ideally though, what you'll also want to do is to create great new content in addition to scrubbing older pages. Start a personal professional blog and a LinkedIn account if you don't have one already; create an online persona of yourself as prevalent and professional.
Before it comes time to apply for your next job, make sure to follow these simple steps to leave your potential employers impressed rather than moving on.