Have you ever heard of “Google stalking”? It’s this silly term used to describe researching someone on the internet. You may be surprised to know it, but chances are pretty good that your future boss is going to Google stalk you.
What I mean is this. Even though your boss has your awesome resume with all your qualifications, they want to know more. They want to see if your social media accounts show up, and what you’ve been posting. They want to know what else there is to know that’s not on your resume.
So, rather than wait to see what your future boss finds, do your homework. Research yourself. See what you come up with.
Search for your name with quotes (for example, “Angela Copeland”). Take a look at what comes up, both in the main Google search results, and in Google images.
Hopefully, everything that shows up will be perfect, and you’ll be proud of your search results. But, if this isn’t the case, you first want to be aware of what’s there.
Then, you have to decide if any negative results are directly in your control or not. For example, if your Facebook page shows up with a less than flattering party photo on the front page, you can update your Facebook page. If someone else with your same name has a habit of getting arrested, you may not be able to do anything directly about those search results. But, there’s power in just knowing what a future employer may see.
But, also know that you can indirectly impact negative results that appear. Digital marketers call the process of manipulating Google search results “search engine optimization” or SEO. One tactic to pushing down negative results is to generate more positive results. The more those positive results go up, the more negative results will go down.
Great examples of this are social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. If you’re posting regularly on social media, there’s a good chance your Facebook page may show up when someone searches for you. And, it could potentially displace a negative result that you don’t have control over.
Your personal brand extends far beyond what’s listed on your resume. The new “cover letter” (so to speak) is what’s showing up within the search results on Google. It’s the entire story of you, not just your professional career. Doing a little research of your own will help you to be prepared and put your best foot forward for your future boss.