Do you ever wonder why recruiters are not contacting you with job opportunities? Have you ever applied for a job then never received any response? In both cases, there could be many reasons why. Many of which you have no control over. But if you had the power to remove one if the most important reasons you don’t hear from recruiters, would you do it? Would you?
This is so important these days that more job seekers and career builders really need to read it. Kindly share this article with someone you know.
Clean Up your Online Footprint
Your online footprint could be getting in your way. Your online footprint is what you leave behind when you use the Internet. It includes the posts, comments, Likes, photos, chats, etc. All your online activity can be found by Google. And recruiters use Google to check out candidates. So recruiters can see your footprint. You can see the same things recruiters will see when they Google your name. So that’s what you should do:
Google your own name
That’s right, Google your own name. But before you do, I suggest you write a simple, clear statement of why you are doing this. Write down your career goal. Pin it on the wall by your desk so that you can see it every day. Having it written right there in front of you may help you stay focused and motivated for this task.
Now, to Google yourself. Use the name you use on LinkedIn or your resume. If your name is a popular one, such as “John Smith”, or José Ramíerez, then it might be harder for recruiters to associate negative search results with you. If your online footprint is messy, that would be good. But harder is not impossible, so you shouldn’t rely on it.
You can enter more complex search terms to filter the results to tighten the focus on you. Use Google Advanced Search to restrict the search results. You can enter terms that increase your relevance, and remove irrelevant results of other terms,
If a relatively complex search is required you can save the search URL generated by Google Advanced Search so that the search can be repeated more quickly next time. Just copy the URL and save it to a file. When you want to search again another time, op
Begin looking through the search results. The links that you know really are you and not someone else, follow them one-by-one. The most important thing to remember when you look at the search results is this:
A negative impression will eliminate you, while a positive impression will only move you to the next stage of this process.
That’s so important that I’ll say it another way. If an initial google search of your name returns any undesirable results, the recruiter will simply trash your application and move on to the next. Game over!
So if a search result might appear to a recruiter to be negative, and it clearly relates to you, then your career goal will be helped most by eliminating that negative result. That’s the whole enchilada, right there. If you have search results that show you in a bad light to a recruiter, it may be killing your career chances.
Hide Social Media Negative References
I know this might seem harsh. Take a moment now to read the career goal you wrote earlier in this post. It is the reminder of why you wanted to do this harsh task.
You will need to login to every one of your social media accounts, go through your history and remove, or hide from public view, all posts one-by-one. General guidelines
- Facebook: edit, hide or check your privacy settings
- Instagram: delete picture
- Twitter: delete
- Snapchat: delete conversation
- LinkedIn: edit or delete
- Youtube: delete the video
For other Social Media, see their respective support pages. Remove or hide anything that might give a negative impression.
This process time-consuming and hard. Reviewing all those activities is sure to remind you of all the great times you felt like sharing in the first place. You’ll feel nostalgic. You’ll get distracted. Re-read your career goal. This process may well take quite some time. Best to start immediately.
Do I have to do this?
Of course not! No one is going to force you to clean your social media accounts. If sharing all your activities is so important to you that you will share activities that eliminate you as a candidate, then there is no need to worry about it. But you will have to accept that sharing these kinds of activities is incompatible with your career goals. You’ll need to work out that inconsistency for yourself. Either your career goals or those activities must be changed.
If you do decide that your career goals are more important, that gives you 4 tasks:
- Remove all such past activity from all social media immediately
- Stop sharing such activities
- Ask your friends to stop sharing such activities
- This last one may be the hardest. It really isn’t the sharing of these activities that is inconsistent with your career goals. It is the activities themselves. You may need to have a long talk with yourself why you need to stop these activities, eliminate such behavior from your life. For your career, maybe for your health, family, and finances, too.
Negative References You don’t control
Some of the negative search results might be beyond your reach. Examples include bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures, arrest records, criminal convictions, civil suits, domestic disputes, academic performance records, military records, the list can go on and on.
For these, you can try working with the party who controls the record. This can include government entities, media outlets, financial institutions, insurers. There are also companies that will help cleanup (“expunge”) your record for a fee. It’s up to you how these should be handled.
It might be impossible to 100% clear your online history. Unfortunately having a good explanation for any negative activity probably won’t matter: any recruiter seeing it will likely skip you and go to the next candidate. That’s more harshness, but that’s the way it is. Sorry.
Once you believe you have removed all these negative activities Google your name again to verify. It is a good practice to periodically Google yourself like this just to stay current with what the Internet says about you. Good luck!