Inspect Your Online Identity

Have you research and cleaned up your online identity? Check your social networking profiles to determine if the information is incriminating, outdated, wrong or embarrassing! Even if you don’t look yourself up, employers might, and it may cost you the interview. Here are some ways to help ensure your online identity is clean.

Investigate 

Use search engines to explore your online identity.

Search:

  • With your name in quotation marks.
  • Your name and your school name, middle name/initial, hometown, fraternity/sorority, organizations, major, etc.
Ask for Help 

Your editorial might have been published in your school newspaper’s website, you might have added a comment to a blog or article, or someone might have posted information about you. If any of this information is damaging, you might want to ask the website owner or editor to remove the information. If you are unable to have the information removed, be prepared to speak to an employer about your actions by turning the negative situation into a positive one.

Social Media Accounts

If you can’t stand to do away questionable material (politically incorrect, rude, explicit, etc.) on social media, then change the privacy setting to restrict availability to only confirmed friends you trust. By doing so, recruiters and employers will not have access to your account.Keep in mind that even if your profile is private, walls for your friends, groups and pages may still be public. A good way to clean up your online presence is to remove negative pictures and entries from your social media pages.

When about to post new content online or reviewing what “digital dirt” to delete from your social media past, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Would I be willing to have the information viewed by the public?
  • Could I justify the information to others if they question it?

 

Simple rule of the thumb:

  • If you do not want information about you known by an employer, do NOT post it online. Remember, once you post information online, you lose control over where it is stored or with whom it might be shared.
  • Be selective about whom you accept as a friend or connection.Avoid naming employers or individuals with you had negative experiences/encounters (e.g. complaining on a Facebook status or in your blog after having a bad job interview)
  • Consider what the names of any online groups you are affiliated with convey about you.  (e.g, FSU Boozers)
  • Keep in mind that even if an employer does not view your site, potential colleagues or clients might!