Are you sick of not getting the call you have been waiting for? Are you still unemployed after an intense job hunt with hundreds of resumés in circulation? Have you ever thought it could have something to do with your – not so personal – personal life?
Do not put it past employers to hunt you down on the World Wide Web and beyond in order to make sure you would be a positive addition to their company. This may not be an issue with all jobs, but if you want to work in a job where your name represents the company to clients or peer companies, chances are you’ll be under the microscope.
Your life outside your job application speaks volumes to the employer about how you’ll act if you are hired and the most efficient way to make enquiries into someone’s personal life today is the Internet.
Here are some things you may want to try if you’re not getting positive results:
Type your name into a search engine and see what comes up. You could be surprised to see how much people can find out about you. Don’t just skim the first page – click on the results and check image results as well.
You never know who knows who. Keep that in mind when posting pictures and comments. Even the language you use in message board posts, Facebook comments and in emails can deter future employers from calling you back.
It can be tempting to set your Facebook status to, “Getting hammered tonight!” Try to avoid the urge and maybe write a more conspicuous line such as, “Going out tonight!” which does not necessarily imply binge drinking and intense partying.
If you have a job, avoid adding co-workers and bosses as friends on Facebook or Twitter, or inviting them to check out other personal web pages. Business and personal life should not mix, especially on the Internet. If you want to keep in touch with colleagues, try a professional network like LinkedIn.
Your future employer will probably not hire you based on your ability to do keg stands or dance on the bar in a mini-skirt. Whether you delete whole albums from Facebook or simply un-tag yourself in your friends’ photos, make those memorable nights on the town more difficult to find for people who don’t know you.
There are ways around everything on the Internet, of course, but making sure only your friends and family have access to your personal information will not only help your professional life, it can also protect you from online predators and scammers.
The Internet can be a great place to share ideas and get to know new people, but we need to understand the risks attached to putting ourselves in the public eye. Even if you’re not searching for a job at the moment, start thinking about what you’ve already put online and how it reflects on you. This way, when an amazing opportunity presents itself, you don’t have to scramble to interview-proof your web pages.
What have you done to make sure employers like what they see?