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What does your online presence say about you? Those wild pictures from a party or nasty blog posts about a former employer might not be as private as you think. Anything online is considered public and it is perfectly legal for anyone to look at it. That should be of serious concern to jobseekers, especially as  statistics  state that 91 percent of recruiters check up on applicants using social media.

Of those surveyed, 69 percent said they have rejected a candidate because of what they found online. Inappropriate photos and comments, negativity about former employers and demonstrating poor communication skills were just a few of the reasons employers did so.

On the flip side, 68 percent said they have hired candidates because of what searches found, siting reasons such as discovering solid communication skills and getting a positive impression from the candidate.

So what can you do?  Think of the  three C’s :

  • Clean: Do a Google search of yourself and know what people will find. Take down anything you’ve posted that is unprofessional and ask others to do the same. Make sure you’re not saying anything that you wouldn’t say at a networking event.
  • Control: Rather than keep your name offline all together, take charge of what people find about you. Make your own blog or website that will show up when people search.
  • Create: Using your website or blog, write content that will prove you are knowledgeable in your field, as well as a professional.

By taking these steps you can feel better about what potential employers may find about you.

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