Even Dilbert is Checking You Out…

by Katrina Collier, Featured Contributor

JUDGING BY the popularity of this Gilbert cartoon, we can all identify with the possibility of something not so great being spotted in our online persona!

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 3.42.41 PM

And I as I always tell my HR and Recruiting clients, don’t think it’s a one way investigation.

Oh no, today’s job seekers are checking you out too! In fact, they are doing this before they reply or apply.

Job seeker or recruiter, what are you projecting out there?

1. Check Google

Before you search for yourself on Google, I recommend you clear all your history & cookies etc so you get a truer result. (As this can be a pain, I use Firefox just for this purpose.)

Anything untoward come up?

Next, check Google Images. Again, anything come up you’re unhappy with?

Katrina Collier Google Image Search

Action: if you can’t get an image pulled and would like an image to fall on page 2 do not click the link! Instead, you’ll need to follow the link of all the images you’re ok with until it disappears. i.e. make the preferred pages more popular!

2. Check LinkedIn

When you searched for yourself on Google, you may have noticed that your LinkedIn profile was high in the results. Is it showing you at your shiny best?

Have you got a great profile picture? (No? Read this) Does your headline tell a story? Would you hire you / work for you?

LinkedIn UpdatesAnd what about the updates you’ve been sharing, do they reflect well on you?

Though LinkedIn has removed Recent Updates from the desktop version (and is doing all in its power to reduce the number of views they get -> a must read about this) they do still show on the mobile and iPad apps.

I recommend checking your recent posts and comments to ensure you’re not saying things that could be misinterpreted.

On the desktop version, on your Home page, under the menu All Updates, click Your Updates, and check you don’t want to delete anything.

Your LinkedIn Updates

3. Check Facebook

At no point in the recruitment or job search process do I think you should add someone as a friend on Facebook, as frankly, adding a stranger as a friend would be creepy.

But, thanks to Facebook’s Graph search, it is easy to find people so take control of your profile and lock it down. After being caught out myself last year, I made this short video that explains how to lock down your Facebook profile.

4. Check Twitter & Google+…. and anywhere else you hang.

It’s amazing how just 140 characters can lead to a monumental faux pas. You’ve seen the press. Check through and if you have any hesitancy about how you’re projecting yourself on any site, delete the comments!

A social media rule of thumb…

1. Think! How does this status or tweet reflect on me?

2. Choose carefully where you share your post:

  • LinkedIn is like your work conference – and public.
  • Facebook is like being at the pub – check your settings to ensure it is private!
  • Twitter is like a cocktail party – and public.
  • Google+ is like work drinks – and public.

3. Final check, would you say it in front of your grandmother?

What advice would you add?

Editor’s Note: This Article was originally featured on Winning Impression and has been republished with permission.


Katrina Collier
Katrina Collier
KATRINA is an Independent voice on social recruiting; speaking, training and writing about the use of social media for hiring and job search. She shows companies proven methods for effective recruitment on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter and a range of small and niche sites. Companies learn to find the right people on the right sites. Katrina teaches job seekers how to use social channels to gain attention and open opportunities. When not training, Katrina is a regular speaker and writes social recruiting articles for Work4, Computer Weekly, and her own blog.

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