The information available today on the internet, makes it very easy for employers to conduct free basic background checks on potential employees.  In fact, it’s highly recommended that employers run a Google search before hiring someone.

Websites such as facebook and myspace are considered social networking websites as opposed to professional networking websites.  People are sharing their weekend drinking stories, bashing companies they work for, and using a lot of profanity when typing.  Imagine an employer finding you on a Google search and seeing a post on how you are calling in sick today because you want to skip out on the boring corporate meeting or how you got so drunk over the weekend you don’t remember how you got home.

Even though it is your personal business and it’s not during working hours, anything found on the internet can be used to judge your character.   A press release from stated that out of 100 executive recruiters that were surveyed, 77% of them use search engines to find out information on candidates.   It also mentions that 35% rejected candidates based on the information that was found online about them.

Here are 3 tips to avoid negative search results about yourself:

  1. Think about how you want your image to be and think before you type or post pictures.
  2. Send private messages to your friends when the urge to talk about the company you work for or weekend drinking binges come up.
  3. Hide messages from others on your profile that could lead to a negative representation of yourself.

If you don’t know what results appear when your name is being searched on search engines, I strongly recommend to do a search on yourself and find out.