There is a saying, “Google never forgets”. Do you know what it is saying about you? If you go for a job interview, the company is quite likely to take a look at your Facebook profile, Twitter feed etc. They are also likely to do a Google search for you. Are they going to find someone who is generous, who builds relationships and has many long lasting friendships? What can you do if there are things that come up that you don’t want people to see?

  1. Create content that you do want them to see.  We have all done things in life that are embarrassing. Most people won’t scroll through more than the first few pages of results about you though. Google and other search engines tend to put things that are more recent up first. If you do a search for my name, most of what comes up are blog posts by me, Google+ pages about me, my Facebook page and other recent postings. FYI, somewhere out there on the net is a picture of me in a speedo on a beach in Mexico back when I was about 23 years old…the girl who took the photo posted it. Fortunately…it doesn’t come up in the first 12 pages or more of results about me. That is a personal example of what I am talking about. I wouldn’t want that picture to be the first thing that popped up if a prospective employer did a search for me.
  2. Get involved in things that you can be proud of.What are the activities you are known for? Are you known for volunteering at the library or for binge drinking? Are people more likely to talk about your activity in a local organization or your regular table at the strip club? Do you want to be remembered for being a great Boy Scout leader or for running around with a bunch of men who act like they are still boys. You get the picture. Choose your activities and friends wisely. Then when other people are writing about you, it is more likely to be things that you are happy to see when people look you up!
  3. If you created the negative content, get rid of it! I remember a girl who was finishing college and going for job interviews. I mentioned to her that she might want to clean up her image a little bit on her Facebook page. She had created the content and it was easy enough to delete some entries and some photos so that she would be seen in a more positive light.
  4. Quit making negative content! If you spend time on social media or your blog trashing friends, coworkers, your boss or your company…STOP IT! Not only could it lead to your being fired, it will likely lead to your not being able to be hired again in the near future. No one wants to hire someone who will spend time trashing them. On top of the fact that it makes you a less desirable employee, it also could open you up to legal liability. The three previous tips do no good if you are going to continue adding to the trash out there that people will find if they are looking you up online.

I don’t claim to be a great expert in the online image cleanup field, but following these simple rules will help you be prepared for the next time someone Googles you. What are some other ways to make your online presence more positive?


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