your internet presence
A number of recent surveys have reported that 77% of recruiters utilize Internet search engines and social networking sites to screen candidates and that 35% of those recruiters have eliminated candidates based on what they’ve learned. As a job seeker you can minimize your risk and contribute positively to your job search efforts by conducting this simple self audit.
Have you checked your e-mail address?
Is the e-mail you’re using on your resume and other job search materials appropriate to the task of seeking a job? Avoid using inappropriate e-mail account names that might work well with friends but potentially send a very wrong message to employers. As an alternative consider setting up a specific account just to handle your job search efforts. Keep in mind that your RIT account expires 6 months after your last course registration. On a related topic, check your voice mail message, especially on your cell phone, to be sure it is appropriate and clearly identifies who you are.
Have you Googled yourself lately?
Have you ever searched the web for information about yourself? If so, are you comfortable with what you’ve discovered and confident a prospective employer would agree? If your answer is “no” to either question, you have some work to do! First, visit the pages identified in your Google search. Change or eliminate those that you can. Remember Google automatically makes a copy of any web page that is identified through its search engine; this is one reason why you see so many “cached” pages in search results. If there is something you want to make sure to eliminate from the web you may need to go to the self-help feature on the Google site and request those pages be deleted. You may also want to try researching yourself on other search engines to make sure you’ve not overlooked anything.
Have you reviewed your pages in MySpace, Facebook, or any other social networking site you belong to?
Would a prospective employer be concerned by anything in your profiles, pictures, groups, friends’ groups, friends’ comments? Make sure you are fully aware of and utilizing the security and screening features available to you as a member of the site and use this opportunity to inform friends of your job search efforts. Their sensitivity to your efforts could go a long way in avoiding any potential problems.
Do you have a resume posted on any career web sites?
You should constantly review and update your resume making sure your contact information is accurate. Note, as well, when your resume will be removed from a site and who may potentially have access to that information.
Do you have your own site or blog?
Would a prospective employer find anything on your site or your blog offensive or inappropriate?
Always be very careful of anything you put on your site or in your blog. In particular be very sensitive if you choose to discuss a company, industry, interview experience, or job situation.
Remember: The web doesn’t distinguish between your personal and professional life. If you have a web presence someone can and will find you.
Always ask yourself: “Would my family be comfortable reading this?” before you post something to the web or include it in an e-mail.