Curating your personal brand – have you googled yourself?

So you have a polished CV, you have a great cover letter and an effective LinkedIn profile with several recommendations. You now stand a good chance of securing a job interview for positions you have applied for? Not necessarily.

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Do you know everything that is out there about you? Research shows that around 80% of employers search your name before arranging your interview. The hiring manager doesn’t want to take the risk of hiring someone who they believe may cause them issues. Interviewing is time-consuming and expensive, especially if employers recruit the wrong candidate. Therefore you need to ensure your personal brand is professional and there is nothing out there that can lead employers to doubt your capabilities and integrity. For example, consistency between your CV and LinkedIn Profile is an absolute must. Anything that appears inaccurate can cause concern for a recruiter.

Have you ‘googled’ yourself?

You may find lots on the internet about you, for example, social media, press articles or anything else on the internet that may hurt your job prospects. Now you may have been the ‘party person’ in your past, but is there any evidence out there? Your Facebook page and social media may be set to private, but are you 100% positive that all the photos you have uploaded have the correct privacy settings?

What about the older pictures when you were less aware of privacy options or have any your friends put pictures or posts up that are not private? Also remember Twitter is never private so if you ‘tweet’ be careful of the content as you don’t know who could see it one day. Google is able to trawl through Twitter so if you have said anything controversial it could appear on a web search.

Other things that can appear on the internet when people search for you are even restaurant reviews, amazon or trustpilot reviews. So even though you might have had to leave negative feedback ensure your language is professional and you are not coming across as bad mannered and unreasonable.

If you feel there is something really detrimental out there about you, a way around all this would be for you to “cleanse” your historical internet presence by employing the “right to be forgotten”. To exercise the right to be forgotten and request removal from a search engine, you must complete a form through the search engine’s website. You can find plenty on the internet to help you through this process either on a search engine or social media.

I hope that helps and good luck in your job search!

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