19
Jul
07

Take YOUR Name Back

We’ve all done it, we’ve all googled ourselves to see the results, in my case nothing shows up, which for me is double edged sword. What can you do if you are not impressed with the results? or if say you share the same name as a porn star ? (as one of my friends does) Is there anything you can do? With all the reports, articles and information out there telling us that hiring managers are “google-ing” prospective employees a picture of you drunk at a party can hurt more then you ego.

The first thing to do is delete your MySpace account (or modify so you cannot be found by your name). Remove all photos that you wouldn’t want a recruiter or HR Rep to see, at the very least, any and all posts or comments that you’ve left on MySpace that include your actual name. Then if possible ask your “friends” to do the same.

Got some embarrassing pictures posted on Flickr or Smug Mug? time to delete them. If someone else posted a photo of you, ask them very, very nicely to take it down or remove your name from the tags, descriptions, comments, etc. If for some reason they won’t oblige, try sending the company an email and explain to them that you wish to have a picture of yourself removed. You will need to provide the exact URL to the picture and explain why you’d like it taken down. There is absolutely no guarantee that they’ll accommodate you, they probably will not but it’s worth a try

I have been told more then once to never, ever, use an email address when applying for a job (or on your resume) that you’ve used to sign up for online forums or social networking sites. I’m not to sure how i feel about this one, I tend to use the same email address for everything and I am not a point where I feel the need to change that. I post on forums, I have typical social network pages but I do not post anything that I wouldn’t want my parents or a HR Rep to see. I have heard that Recruiters will search for your email address right after they search for your name. So before you post that image or reply to that comment think: Do I really want <fill in blank> to know that I agree with <blank> or spend a lot of time on this <insert offensive site here> forum?

After removing or modifying the bad stuff there are a few sites you can use to create more positive links to your name. LinkedIn is a good starting point. It is a business oriented social networking site and due to its high pagerank, creating a LinkedIn profile is a great way to get your name higher in search results. After you create an account and fill out all of the profile information (which can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on how detailed you want your profile to be), you’ll want to make sure your profile (or at least part of it) is public. To do so, click the Edit My Public Profile tab.

You can also register for a ZIKI account, they are a newer site and Ziki makes a pretty bold claim – “Ziki members are guaranteed to appear in the first position of Google, Yahoo & MSN search results when their name is searched, given that Ziki buys sponsored links. Ziki community members can therefore create, manage and optimize their online presence while controlling their image.”

Just be aware that what you post to the internet can and will be seen by many many people, some who may want to be “web friends” and some who may want to offer you a job.

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