The term online image refers to all of the information that is available on the Internet about you. This includes: information from social networking websites (e.g. Facebook), personal websites, chat rooms, video posting websites (e.g. YouTube), blogs, and anywhere else information about you can be accessed online by the public.
When you are job searching, having a positive online image can be very helpful. Employers and recruiters are searching online to learn more about job seekers. The information an employer finds online can impact your ability to secure employment. The good news however, is that you can increase your chances of getting an interview by creating a positive online image.
How do I find my Online Image?
- Choose a popular search engine such as Google
- Type your first and last name into the search box
- Press enter to begin your search
- If your search doesn’t show any helpful results on the first page you can try including more information in the search box (e.g. location, name of employer)
- The results may vary depending on the search engine you use. To be safe, try searching using more than one search engine.
Popular Search Engines & People Search Sites:
Google (google.ca), Yahoo (yahoo.ca) PIPL (pipl.com), bing (bing.com)
Create and Maintain a Positive Online Image
- Create professional looking profiles for the major social media websites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook).
- Keep the information on your profiles (especially LinkedIn) consistent with your résumé.
- Make a good impression with employers by participating on message boards, industry blogs or groups related to your field of work.
- Keep your accounts up-to-date and maintain your connections even if you aren’t looking for a job. It’s easier to maintain a network then build one from scratch.
- Apply appropriate privacy settings to your non-professional social networking sites to prevent employers from seeing information you would like to keep private.
- Regardless of your privacy settings, delete and avoid posting anything that could be viewed negatively by an employer.