Boo! 5 Ways to Scare Employers Away When They Google You

The ghost and ghouls may not be the only thing frightening this Halloween. Think about what could happen if a potential employer Googles you. Could the results send them running away with fear, or reassure them that you are the candidate they need? Below is a list of the top 5 things that could scare employers away when they Google you.

Your social network presence

From Facebook to Instagram, everyone is on one or more social networking site these days. While it might not be fair for employers to judge your professional life based on your personal social media profile, it can and does happen. In fact, a 2013 study found that 39 percent of hiring managers use social media to research candidates.

For this reason, you should be mindful of what you post, especially when it comes to photos. Make sure your profile picture is professional, or at least doesn’t portray you in a negative or questionable way. Think twice about what you post and who tags you in a picture.

If you are in the job search mode, be sure to Google yourself and see what comes up, so you can be prepared. If you don’t want people snooping around on your social media profiles, you can increase your privacy settings.

A lack of an online presence

You might think that having little to no presence online is a good thing, but it can actually work against you. Instead, you should create an online persona that will help you in your job search. Entrepreneur and author Michael Price recommends creating a LinkedIn account because it is highly favored by Google and optimizes well for people’s names. Price notes that LinkedIn is also a great way for employers to verify your resume, as your LinkedIn profile and resume should match, and to see previous employer/coworker recommendations.

You can also create a profile on Professional Diversity Network and make sure it’s consistently updated. This way, employers specifically looking for diverse talent can easily find you.

 A record of bad-mouthing previous employers

No matter what kind of experience you’ve had with previous employers, you should never bad-mouth them online. While we are all tempted to go online and express our feelings about a bad experience, you never know who might see these remarks in the future.

Do you really want a potential employer to eliminate you from being considered for a job because of something you once said about someone you once worked with?

Being overly political, overly religious, overly negative or overly anything

What you do in your personal time is your personal business, except when it doesn’t align with your future company. You don’t have to hide your beliefs or avoid participation, but you should try and curate a limited online persona around any topic that might be controversial or offensive.

As an alternative you should participate and vocalize your thoughts and opinions online in areas that relate to your job or industry. Just remember to keep it as positive and thoughtful as possible.

No record of accomplishments

Employers want to be able to see your accomplishments which is why they will often look online for previous work. Not having a record of your accomplishments, beyond your resume or LinkedIn profile, won’t necessarily rule you out as the right candidate, but it might not help either.

Having an online portfolio or a blog showcasing your work is a great way to highlight your accomplishments. You can also contribute to an industry blog or join discussions, all of which can be easily found during a Google search.

Have you given any thought to your online persona? How often to do you Google yourself to see what a potential employer might find? Join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

One thought on “Boo! 5 Ways to Scare Employers Away When They Google You

  1. Everyone understands that employers look at social media when hiring people, but the bottom line is is that if all your looking for are average bods then cookie-cutter social media peeps will become more often than not mediocre employees too.

    I guess this is exactly what corps want, mediocrity!

    If I am religious, political or whatever else that is my business so long as I am not advocating breaking the law. But trolling profiles through social media (which makes you as an employer, a troll) then beware. There is always a paper trail on the Net and discriminatory employment practices can backfire and put your corporation in hot legal water.

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