If you’re wondering how likely recruiters are to Google your name and check out your social media profiles, here’s the answer:

30% of all Google searches are related to recruitment. That’s something like 300 million searches per month.

And 94% of recruiters are already screening candidates on social networks or plan to do so in the near future.

This should be enough to convince you that getting a job interview isn’t just about crafting a pristine cover letter, or knowing how to email a resume.

It’s also about building the right kind of online presence.

Now that you know that recruiters are pretty likely to search you on the web, make sure that what they find puts you in a good light as a prospective employee.

Here are five tips to help you clean up your online presence and boost your chances at landing your dream job.

1. Be present

If you think disappearing from the web or going super-private on all your profiles is a good idea, think twice.

Most recruiters (56 per cent) will check your name online because they’re interested in learning more about your personal brand and professional network.

In a more recent survey, (also by CareerBuilder) more than a third of employers admitted that they’re less likely to interview a candidate if they can’t find any information about them on the web.

That’s why you should make sure that you’re easy to find online.

Why not provide a link to your LinkedIn profile in your application? That way you’ll show recruiters that you take extra care about how you present yourself to the online community in your sector.

2. Set the right privacy settings on your social accounts

Keep up with the latest updates to privacy policies on the social networks you use – they determine how searchable your profile is and who can see your posts.

Make sure that everything that’s publicly visible accurately reflects your personal brand.

Browse the history of your posts and delete ones that put you in a bad light. You don’t want anyone taking screenshots of this content and posting it publicly with your name on it.

Consider Twitter – even if you make your profile private, other users can still quote you.

All in all, think twice before posting anything online, and you’ll be fine.

3. Make sure that your resume and online presence tell the same story

After reading your resume and searching your name on the web, recruiters should be able to blend your offline and online persona into one consistent professional profile.

Apart from validating key pieces of information included in your resume, your online activity should also deliver on the promises you make in your application.

For instance, if you present yourself as a talented designer, have a well-curated online portfolio ready to impress recruiters.

Make sure the hobbies on your resume are in line with your story.

4. Optimise your LinkedIn profile

Optimise your LinkedIn profile, and you’ll create a powerful online space for personal branding.

Customise the URL of your profile to make it more user-friendly and easier to remember.

Write an attention-grabbing headline – it’s displayed right next to your name, so make sure that it’s catchy and captures your professional aspirations.

Ask your supervisors and colleagues to give you endorsements and recommendations. Return the favour by writing on-point feedback where you refer to projects that you’ve worked on together with your colleagues.

5. Clean your Google results of unwanted mentions

If you’ve Googled yourself and found results which compromise your personal brand, take action and ask the search engine to remove these pages from its results. Remember that Google has a separate process for its main results and Google Images.

Other search engines like Bing or DuckDuckGo have feedback forms where you can easily submit takedown requests for non-legal reasons.


Key takeaway

It’s clear that there’s much more to applying for a job than just learning how to make a resume that helps you stand out from other candidates.

Cleaning up your online presence is a critical step for making a great impression on employers and positioning yourself as an industry insider who is aware of their personal brand, and knows how to use online profiles to their advantage.

What are your waiting for? Google yourself and take control of your professional reputation now.