What does Google say about you?

An article that’s been doing the rounds this month, Five Google Results that can Destroy your Career points out just what people find when they google you.

The results which the author warns about are

  • A negative press mention
  • Info about an arrest or other legal issue
  • Negative online reviews
  • Backlash from a break-up
  • A slanderous blog or website
  • Also, be aware of people who share your name

but I’d like to add a few more here.

  • Social Media – things you wish you hadn’t typed, silly photos
  • Google Images – anyone can post an image of you, even an enemy
  • Youtube – mistakenly ‘liking’ an inappropriate video, and now frozen for eternity

When I google myself, I find social media high on the search results and many of those results are written by others. Images can be an eye-opener, I’ve found pictures of myself that I didn’t know existed and my YouTube comments are there for anyone to find.

There’s nothing I can do about annoying, or even harmful, Google results except to make sure that I don’t give way to any childish pique online.

Anything you say on Facebook is recorded forever, so ensure your comments reflect your true self in a professional manner. There’s plenty of room for a joke or some light-hearted banter, but be aware that anything can be taken out of context. (Whenever I’m on Facebook, I remind myself that my grandchildren can see my feed).

You may not be looking for a job at this very moment, but Career Builder Survey found the top reason employers reject candidates. What was it? Posting inappropriate photographs. Next on the list? Hosting content about alcohol or drug use. Clearly boasting about how many beers you downed last night isn’t the wisest idea, but it seems even the most conscientious Facebook user could find themselves misjudged by a page they “liked” years ago.

A page I “liked” years ago? How can I even remember? Have a look at the pages you’ve “liked” on Facebook. Are they still suitable for you to endorse?

Your Linkedin account should be free of any frivolity, it’s your professional business card. Check your connections in case someone shonky has sneaked in without you noticing.

Look out for accounts or services that you no longer use, these will turn up in search results, so be aware of any historical information and legacy accounts. If you find some (and you can login) delete your info there.

Some content that I post is automatically fed into websites owned by people that I don’t know – my content from an RSS feed. I can’t remove or delete it. A good reason to be absolutely sure when I hit Enter! A good reason for everyone to be absolutely sure before they hit Enter.

You can be judged, you will be judged, by Google results.