Is searching for yourself online a wise career move or just egosurfing? A new Accountemps survey reports that many professionals type their name into search engines to see what pops up.
Are you among them?
Sixty-nine percent of the 443 workers interviewed said they have entered their names into at least one search engine. The interviewees were all at least 18 years old or older and employed full or part time in an office environment.
While all professionals should protect their reputation by monitoring their online presence, this is especially critical for job seekers, said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. Many employers now routinely perform Internet searches to quickly learn about applicants interests, experience and industry involvement.
So in other words, be careful about your online presence.
Accountemps offers the following five tips for making your online footprint work for you:
Know what's out there. Set alerts using Google or other tracking services to receive a notification each time something new is said about you, and delete any content that could be seen as unprofessional or controversial. If you find unflattering material you cannot remove, be prepared to explain if a hiring manager asks about it.
Take advantage of privacy settings. If you belong to social networking sites or have a personal blog, adjust your privacy settings so you control who has access.
Contribute to the conversation. As appropriate, comment on articles of interest to you and your field, and consider writing columns for industry organizations.
Exercise discretion. Be aware that whatever you post may be seen by potential employers, and give careful consideration to how statements you make may be interpreted. While you want to show you have a well-informed opinion, keep your comments constructive, and avoid disparaging others.
Keep your profiles current. Make sure your professional profiles on sites such as Google and LinkedIn are up-to-date and highlight your experience.