On the twenty-seventh installment of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield of Layfield Resume Consulting emphasizes the importance of being aware of your online presence. He shares several steps you can take to ensure potentially inappropriate items don’t fall into the hands of future employers.
Tristan: What’s going on, y’all? It’s Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. This week, let’s discuss your online presence. Have you ever Googled yourself and found pictures of you wasted at a college tailgate or homecoming? Thirst traps from Photobucket waaay back in the day? Or even posts from that one reckless friend that they keep tagging you in? I definitely have. I’ve done my fair share of craziness on the Internet. We all have, but it’s imperative that we clean up our online profile to ensure these items don’t fall into the hands of future employers. So let’s talk about some of the steps that you can take. First, make a list of all of your accounts. This may be difficult, but it will help you understand what you have out there. If there are some accounts that you no longer use, then delete them to reduce the risks of hacking and identity theft. Second, remove all of the inappropriate items. Remember, at the end of the day, you decide what’s inappropriate to you. I’m not telling you to hide yourself from your future employer, but just review the material on your profile and make sure you’re okay with the images portraying. Third, review and change your security settings. If you don’t want recruiters or hiring managers to see what you’re posting, then use the enhanced privacy settings for personal accounts, but remember – nothing is ever truly safe or private when you post it online. Even after taking all of these steps and cleaning up everything, you never know what might make its way onto the Internet or what might resurface, so it’s imperative that we keep an eye on our online presence so we’re aware of what’s out there. Here are two tips to maintain your efforts. First, search for yourself on several search engines at least once every three months. This helps identify anything you might deem non-professional quickly so you can work to get it removed. Second, set up Google alerts with your name. Make sure to set up alerts with variations of your name so you’re kept in the know about what pops up on the Internet about you. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, people feel like they know you before they actually do. It’s up to you whether you control that narrative. This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.