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It's very important to have an Internet presence when job searching nowadays. Equally important is to have a professional online presence. Many employers, hiring managers, and recruiters use the Internet to research you. At last count, 77% said they use the Internet to research job applicants prior to offering them a position. Remember, recruiters are putting themselves on the line when they submit your resume to employers.
Google yourself and see what comes up, because what comes up is what they will see. If you find anything negative or unflattering, delete or hide if possible. You may find that there are several people out there or even hundreds of people with your same name. Some with your same name could have a lot of negative information out there, but don't worry. The recruiters I spoke with said they do keep this in mind, especially when you have a more common name.
You don't have any control over with someone may write on your wall or social network pages. You may have the option to delete the information after the fact, but a recruiter may see it even before you do. There are options and settings available in Facebook and other social networks to hide your page from those outside your social network. At least when seeking employment, this is usually a good option to set. Most employers and recruiters nowadays are computer savvy enough to know how to find you on Facebook, Myspace, and other social networking pages during their research.
One recruiter shared with me that a position was actually offered to a candidate and then rescinded because the recruiter had found very negative and detrimental information on their Facebook page after the fact. The candidate lost the opportunity of being hired. Be careful and cautious of what you write, post, blog, broadcast, and upload. Also be cautious of what you place on sites such as YouTube. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a better choice as a professional networking resource.
Use LinkedIn for your professional page only. Don't make it your social, or your dating, network. And of course, keep it very professional. Some may think this is all hype; others may not care to work for someone that will not hire them because of something found on the Internet or a social network page. Of course that's up to you, but at least be aware that it may happen. Ask yourself if you really want to take that chance. This attitude may change in the future. It may even become illegal, but for now at least, it's a reality.
Create a professional online personification and image to be sure your dream job isn't rescinded simply because the hiring manager saw something negative on the Internet.
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