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Social Disaster – is your Job Search Safe?

Table of Contents  
  1. Reputation Resources

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I was recently recruiting for an open position and, after numerous resumes and interviews, narrowed the search down to three candidates and then the final choice. The “winning” candidate had a very impressive resume and all of his references checked out. Then came the background check (which includes a fairly robust Internet search) and we discovered some disturbing news. The final candidate was a quite active political dissident (on the Internet, using blogs and comments). Now, this might not cause alarm on its own, but his comments bordered on libelous and some statements were inches away from “overthrow the government”. Needless to say, we passed on this candidate.

Do you know what will show up in a robust Internet search on you? Better yet, do you know how your Internet persona is perceived by others (it doesn't really matter what you think)?

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What about you? Do you know what will show up in a robust Internet search on you? Better yet, do you know how your Internet persona is perceived by others (it doesn’t really matter what you think)? Beyond the basic test “would your mother would be embarrassed?”, you should be aware of what lurks in your name and image on the Internet. Have you done a search lately? Are there people with the same or a similar name to yours that can be confused with you (and cause you grief)? The following provides some tools and advice to help you manage your social footprint.

Reputation Resources

  • Don’t Run with Scissors – So what mistakes could you possibly make that could be life-threatening to your career? Where do I start? How about your reputation, as in, what lurks in your Internet presence? Probably not so much of a problem for the “over 50” crowd, but definitely something to think about for those who’ve grown up with the Internet. Maybe a picture from college where you were tagged at a Beer Pong party or worse.
  • Your Internet Profile Matters when Searching for a Job – It’s not always what you know about your Internet profile that can keep you from getting a job (or worse, get you fired).  Sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you as well. Being tagged in photos, having things posted about you, even someone with a similar name (and ugly Internet profile) can hurt you. The key is to stay on top of your Internet presence and actively manage it.
  • 6 Social Media Mistakes To Avoid While Job Seeking – This article, posted on, provides a few guidelines on how to avoid mistakes (rather than trying to fix the almost unfixable). Some tips are related to your actual search (like leaving your profile open to others) while others involve what you should not post on the Internet. Of course, this all extends to both, what you post on social sites AND what you include in job search sites. While you are on the site, take a look at some of the related articles.
  • What Job Seekers, Employees, and Employers Need to Know About Social Media – What Job Seekers, Employees, and Employers Need to Know About Social Media –  This resource, published by the University of Dayton School of Law, talks about the importance of responsible social media use and its possible impact on job hunting. The resource breaks down the privacy settings of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, explaining what potential or current employers can see about you even if you have a private profile. The resource also includes questions job seekers should ask themselves before posting on social networks.
  • 3 Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation and Keep Your Digital Footprint Under Control – What you post online could affect your future, including your ability to secure a job, move up in the company, or run for public office. Here are three tips for managing your online reputation.
  • How to Check Your Internet Profile– There are several ways you can check your own profile on the Internet short of paying for a service to check for you.


career Tip of the Day: 5 More Resources to Check Your Job Search Social Profile

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12/04/2022 12:07 am GMT

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