In a competitive job market, every aspect of your personality is scrutinized in order to eliminate candidates during a job search. Your online profile is one of the first things Human Resources will do when selecting their top candidates. Learn how you appear online and how to use Google Alerts to protect yourself.
- Step one, search yourself.
Search your name on several search engines. Type your name in the following format:
Alexa Duval and “Alexa Duval”
Another option is using the site Brand Yourself. The gives you a result of an initial Google search. You can clarify what sites and information is yours. Brand Yourself also gives you the option of tailoring your online presence to generate more Google traffic. The site is worth a visit for that insight alone.
While both methods are helpful tools in cleaning up your online image, I actually recommend that you use both methods when devising a social media presence. I acquired more information using each method than if I had merely done the Google search.
- What did you find? Did you find anything that paints you in an unflattering light?
The “real me” has a nice online presence. However, I did learn that several women who share my name work in rather “interesting” positions. I have adjusted my url names to distinguish myself from my peers.
- How to use Google Alerts to manage my online presence.
Google Alerts is a wonderful tool to assess your online profiles. The smartest way to protect your online influence is to set up a Google Alert for your name. Let’s do a step by step set up for Google Alerts.
Set up a Google Alert with your name.
- Type in www.google.com/alerts
- Type your name as the search query ex. Sasha King
- Select “Everything” for your Result Type.
- Select “Once a Week” for How Often you want a message. Selecting “Every Day” will subject you to a steady dose of spam.
- Enter your email account to have updates sent to you.
Read each email weekly. If you see inaccurate or disparaging information about yourself online, then consider removing the url. I’ll discuss this process in an upcoming post.