Ever feel like you are at the mercy of search engines, with your negative online results overshadowing the positive ones? 75% of HR departments are required to Google potential employees, and that doesn’t even take into account future bosses or colleagues looking you up. While it’s unfortunate that your professional persona is affected by your private online presence, it’s a reality that proves to be unavoidable.
It’s also possible that someone who shares your name has some skeletons online. If employers can’t see you, there’s no way to distinguish between the two of you. Someone who shares your name could also be more renowned than you, leading to his or her successes overshadowing your own. Imagine having your dream job find the first “Beth Henderson” they discover is a Harlequin romance novelist. It’s not exactly what you’d want to be known for!
You can take control though! Here are four nightmarish online results you should keep an eye out for and how to avoid them:
1. Negative Press
It’s simple to find bad press for any business or person, even if the negativity is completely unfounded. Specific news outlets for your industry could lead to headlines you’d prefer to hide.
: Set up Google Alerts with your name so you know real time if any press is coming out about you. Knowledge is power. If you feel you have been misrepresented, many press sites allow for comments and the sooner you know, the sooner you can comment and help people see your side of the story.