People have been fired and not hired because of distasteful comments or photos. But here’s how you can prevent or improve your online reputation. First, survey the damage. Google yourself and see what sort of content shows up on the first five pages. Anything troubling? Mark it for action. Then sign up for the alerts available at spots like Google Alerts; when information about you is added or updated, you’ll find out via email.
Because all published content on the Internet is archived on Internet Archive, a nonprofit initiative designed to be a resource for historians and researchers, completely deleting something is almost impossible. That’s why you bury the bad with the good. Create new content such as a blog or personal website that highlights your skills and positive attributes. Have your work published with different credible sites. These actions don’t make the bad stuff go away, but it will show employers that you are serious about portraying yourself professionally.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile already, create one. If you are on LinkedIn, strengthen your profile by filling out all fields. LinkedIn is one of the top sites that pop up when a name is entered into Google, so make it the first thing an employer sees. People are searching for you, make sure you paint the picture of yourself that you want them to see.