Recruiters and human resource personnel seeking out the best talent for their companies are going to search for you online. They will Google your name to find just exactly what others are saying about you. And they will search for you on LinkedIn in order to see what you are saying about yourself.
Here are some suggestions for controlling what prospective employers and recruiters see when they search for you online.
- Search for yourself online. You will see SOME of what the recruiters and employers will see. Remember that search engines learn about you from what you have previously searched for and utilized on the internet.
Based on this knowledge of you, the search engine might not show you everything it will show others. Ask friends to search for you and screenshot the results. Then use these additional sites to get a good idea of what is being said about you.
- Be aware of others who have your same name or a similar name. If you are Maggie Jones, be aware of every other Maggie Jones, Margaret Jones, and Margarita Jones.
Do not assume that those who are searching for you online will understand that you are not the Maggie Jones convicted of check fraud or that others will recognize that you are not the Maggie Jones who, last month, received a fantastic scholarship to the local university at age 14.
It may be necessary to address these issues head on to be sure that prospective employers and recruiters are aware of who you are and who you are NOT.
- Create a personalized URL for your LinkedIn profile and include it on your resume and cover letter. You may wish to include it on your business or networking card. This will lead recruiters and human resource personnel directly to you; hopefully, skipping all the others!
- If necessary, craft a paragraph for your cover letter that addresses those with similar names. It can be short and succinct, only 2 or 3 sentences. You will want to indicate in the paragraph that you are THIS Maggie Jones, and not THOSE other people with similar names.
Keep the paragraph brief and positive. Do not mention any illegal activities or issues; instead, direct the reader to your LinkedIn profile.
As the information on the internet becomes deeper and broader in providing information, we must all become experts in managing our online presence. Take the initiative and begin managing yours before there are issues that could cost you a job offer.