Let’s play a game. Type your full name into the Google search bar. What results are returned? Perhaps the first result is your Facebook account. Next up, some old photos from 5 years ago. And if we click on the second results page, there are a number of comments you have left on various websites.
This is your Google resume. And this is what your prospective employers can see.
In a matter of minutes, your potential boss is able to view images of you, search your social media profiles and determine your interests based on the comments you have left all over the internet. The list is endless. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Sound Cloud, Flickr, eBay, blogs, photos and so much more. Many of us have left enough data about ourselves on the Internet to constitute the makings of a good resume.
And the good news for your prospective employer, Google has done just that.
So, how can you clean up your Google resume?
First up, check all of your social media profiles. Ensure your profile and cover photos are appropriate. Check your security settings and switch everything to private (this includes all comments and photos). A little extra tip: a very quick Google search will show you how to hide your profiles from appearing in search engines at all!
Next up, look through the first few pages of your Google results and remove anything negative that appears (don’t forget to check the images and videos tab). Unfortunately, this step may be a bit limited as you don’t have control over content on other people’s websites. However, there are a few things that you do. If there are any images, posts or comments appearing from your personal social media profiles, you should be able to remove or hide the content without much hassle (it may be as simple as switching your accounts to private). As for the content that is appearing from external sources, you can (very politely) ask the source to remove it. You may not be able to remove all negative results, however there are some simple steps you can take to prevent them from being the first thing that people see.
The best way to push a result further down on your Google resume, is to create something more relevant to take its place. Google loves new content! If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile. Not only does this look professional, but the result usually sits somewhere in the top 3 Google search results. Join membership websites and forums that are relevant to your interests. Make a few (respectful) contributions to show your involvement. For these types of accounts, ensure they are set to public. If you’re really trying to push unwanted results further down, my advice is to join some social media channels (think outside the more common ones) as they always rank highly. Just remember to set your account to private!
As you can see, in just a few simple steps you can have your Google resume looking as polished as your professional resume! If you need any assistance in showcasing your best self on Google, contact me today!