Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Manage How You Are Seen Online

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Manage How You Are Seen Online

Article excerpt

When you enter your name into Google (or the search engine of your choice), are the results flattering, or at least accurate? Even if you aren't keeping tabs on your online reputation, others may be. From potential employers to prospective love interests, your livelihood and your love life can be affected by information linked to you on the Internet. It can create a first impression for new people you meet.

Take control of your online reputation with a few simple steps to ensure that online search results are favorable.

According to a research report commissioned by Microsoft in 2009, about 70 percent of U.S. recruiters and human resources professionals interviewed indicated that they have rejected a candidate based on information they found online. The most detrimental items, the recruiters said, are concerns about the candidate's lifestyle; inappropriate comments or text written by the candidate; and unsuitable photos, videos or information.

Here are some proactive steps you can take to ensure that you're presented in the best light.

Do your research. Google yourself. Before you start, sign out of your Google account so that you see the results that others see. Use all variants of your name, particularly the one you use on your resume and job applications.

In most cases, you'll find mediocre results, primarily other people who share your name, and old or irrelevant information. About 15 percent of people have "bad" search results that offer up severely unflattering information or images.

Take control of your results. According to BrandYourself.com, only 7 percent of people navigate past the first page of results. The key is to create enough positive buzz about yourself that relevant and flattering content will appear higher in search results.

Start by joining websites that are noticed by Google's search scanning algorithm such as LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com), Google+ and Twitter. Complete as much of the personal profile as possible, particularly the sections that relate to job skills and experience. Even publicly accessible Facebook info will appear in your results page.

Bloggers should post content to Wordpress (http:// wordpress. …

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