Do you know what comes up when you google your own name? It's an interesting exercise...
Should you care about what pops up on Google...About YOU?
We've all done it.
Usually, it's because of a meme you saw on Facebook, or you may be curious as to what you'd find.
If you did Google yourself, were you surprised or disappointed about what you found after searching your name?
Try this: Google your name again, but this time, do it from the perspective of a hiring manager from a top company; now how do you feel about the results?
If you paused, then you won't be alone in this.
In today's digital world your social media is a big part of your digital footprint and, if you're job hunting, your resume and references aren't the only things a human resource or hiring manager is going to look at.
They'll be researching your name, and that means that you need to be getting more out of your digital footprint.
With the economy constantly changing and many people making career changes, job recruiters have become pickier than usual in their search for quality employees.
While your resume may be top-notch, what a potential employer finds in a Google search may not be.
Should You Care About What Comes Up in a Search?
Yes, you should care!
We've already established that first thing a potential employer will do is Google your name.
(Remember: even as a subcontractor, freelancer, or solopreneur those who you're pitching to work with, will be Googling you.)
While you may not have considered this as having any relevancy before, now more than ever the digital age has offered employers, clients and customers the freedom to research who they want to hire or do business with.
So let's give them something good to talk about!
Here's What You Need to Do
Open up your browser and type your name into the Google search box.
It may sound crazy, but pretend you're a private investigator hot on the case for a potential employee. You'll both be in this scenario!
After you've google'd your name, you'll most likely get one of two things:
Running your name through Google is a great exercise, as it'll bring up everything tied to your name......and it could be anything public facing.
It can be a review on Amazon attached to images you put on Facebook over a decade ago.
Maybe it's a link to those pics from that night during the college pub crawl where you went to the thing... yes those pictures that you thought were hidden on your social feed.
Whoops! Are you feeling anxious yet??
Don't worry as you can clean up a lot of these things.
You can even make some of them private or take them down; and also remember to look for outdated information that is no longer relevant and see what you can do about closing old accounts and profiles that no longer represent you well.
People do pay attention to everything you say and do online.
Even if it's only once a month, we recommend that you Google your name, and see if you find something else that may need updating.
Another option is to have a friend Google your name as they may find something different, or that you've missed.
If you don't want friends or family involved and have a VPN, you can use this to help broaden your reach as well to see what's out there and attached to your name.
At the end of the day it's all about staying in control of your digital footprint so that you are aware of what it says about you - and do your best to make sure it's saying all the right things.
Author: Matthew Angelo for Bare Slate Inc.
Categories: Career & Business