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Googled Yourself Lately?

Have you ever Googled yourself? I just did and found 69, 300 results in 0.27 seconds. (Sejal and Patel are both pretty common names.) When I add a small detail such as the company I work for, the University I attended or even a food that I’m obsessed with and often include in tweets, my profile comes up. This begs the question, what does your online image say about you?

I blogged earlier about First Impressions: Put Your Best Foot Forward, focussing on how to prepare for in-person meetings, but what about the online encounters?
With the increase of social networking sites and social media use, these encounters can happen anytime, anyplace and with anyone. I’m not offering advice in this post; instead, I want you to just think about what you’re putting out there and how much (or how little) you want someone who comes across you on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or one of the other numerous sites, to know about you.

Search

Some people are okay with having their personal information available to the world while others would rather fly under the radar. How searchable do you want to be?
Many of these sites have options for you to be publicly searched or hidden from all, until you initiate a connection. Learn the privacy settings on each of these sites and adjust them to your comfort level. I’ve found people (and have been found) based on simple details we’ve shared in a conversation, such as our workplace and our name.

Scan and Align

As soon as someone has found you online (or you’ve found someone), your profile is going to be looked at–and what does your profile say about you? Is it professional? Are you quirky? Does it catch your interest? Is it empty?
As much as words can tell you, a picture is worth more. What does your profile photo (or tagged photos) say about you? Do they tell me that you love to travel? Will I think you bear a striking resemblance to Stewie from Family Guy? Am I going to want to be on my team?
Let’s move from the photos to your actual content; this could be your latest tweet or your most recent status update. What are you saying in your message? What reaction are you trying to evoke from the reader? Are you trying to get a reaction?
Now the big one: do all of the messages you’re sending through your profile align, or do they conflict with each other? These are all different ways to create your profile and there is no right or wrong way–it depends on you, the image you want to project and the eye of the beholder.
Connect

You’ve been found, and reviewed, and found worthy: someone wants to connect with you. So, what do you do? Chances are, you’ll do exactly what they did you to: you’ll scan their profile before making a judgment call on if you’d like to connect or not.
I know some people who keep a maximum limit of connections–if he has 500 friends on Facebook but someone new adds him, he’ll delete someone before accepting the new friend request. Other people will blindly accept everyone, while some will go through entire profiles and mutual connections before making a decision.
With the rise of technology, we’ve entered an era of extremes: some folks like to share (or over-share) to the point where you’re hiding them or deleting them from your networks, while others still don’t know what a Twitter is or refuse to join Facebook. My main point in my previous post still rings true, “Just Be Yourself” and part of being yourself is knowing your comfort levels and doing what feels right to you.

Author

Sejal is a Recruitment Marketing Project Manager at Intel. She is part of the team that is responsible for Intel’s global employment brand. This team helps connect candidates with Intel and Intel with candidates using channels such as the Jobs at Intel web site, the Life at Intel microsite and other Web 2.0 channels. Sejal specifically manages theJobs at Intel Blog and Intel’s recruitment Facebook strategy. Originally from Toronto, Ontario (yes—a real, breathing Canadian!), Sejal graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communications before starting at Intel in 2008. When she’s not working, you’ll find Sejal working at crossing things off of her Bucket List (which includes skydiving, reading 1000 books and traveling the world), eating cupcakes or spending time with family and friends. To learn more about opportunities with Intel, visit intel.com/jobs, follow Intel on Twitter @JobsatIntel or check out the Jobs@Intel blog!

Related posts:

  1. Friending or Following your Coworkers Online?
  2. Social Networks and Your Job Search (Part 2)
  3. Social Networks and Your Job Search (Part 3)

4 Responses to “Googled Yourself Lately?”

  1. avatar Toronto says:

    Good points. Makes me want to do a little housecleaning on my personal name on Google myself. I’m not happy with the web results that come up.

  2. avatar Scott Moreno says:

    Great article Sejal, this is a very important topic that some people have grasped and others have not. In today’s technological world, the internet is one of the most used resources for research. How you appear online is almost as important as how you appear in person. But, the first goal is to get the interview for a job and you online BRAND can either help you or close the door.

  3. Good article! Just recently I had the idea to set up Google Alerts for my name. This way I think I let Google “google” my name as it happens. You get real time updates about where and who you are mentioned. Proud of my discovery. :D

  4. avatar Sejal says:

    Sorry for the delay in response all!
    @Toronto, it’s tough to keep on top of everything but glad I could remind you of this!
    @Scott, I agree–with technology nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprised if hiring managers or recruiters do a quick Google search on a candidate before short listing or interviewing them.
    @George, thank you! Google Alerts is a great way to keep track of yourself! (It may require some additional key words if you have a really common name, like mine, but still a great tool!)

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