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Employers can Google candidates too, you know

I always loved playing “let’s pretend”.  Work with me here.  Let’s pretend that I’m an employer who’s recruiting.  I have a pile of CVs on my desk and I’ve read through them.  I’ve even shortlisted the ones I want to interview based on how well they match the specified criteria for the job.  So far, so good.

Now for the good stuff.  I reach for my pile of shortlisted CVs and… my hand moves to the computer mouse.  Straight away I’m on Google (other search engines are available) and I’m typing in the name of the first shortlisted candidate.  Will I find something interesting about this person?  Will I find out they are captain of their local football team, just as it says on the “hobbies and interests” section of their CV?  Or maybe.. just maybe.. I’ll find some other stuff.   Other stuff that’s a bit juicier.. a bit more salacious, shall we say?

If you think employers won’t search online for information about you, think again.  If you think that it’s unethical behaviour or even against the law, think again.  If it’s in the public domain (be that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or anywhere else), it’s accessible to everyone and that includes prospective employers.

If you haven’t already done it, try Googling yourself.  Do it now before you send your CV anywhere.  Check that your Facebook profile is only visible to your friends.  Check that your LinkedIn professional profile matches everything you’ve said on your CV.  It will only take one discrepancy for a prospective employer to think there’s something fishy going on.

Remember that when faced with a pile of CVs who all look like they could do the job, the recruiter needs more information.  Where does anyone go to get information these days?  That’s right – online.  You only need to give them the slightest reason to move you from the “interview” pile to the “reject” pile and you’re history.  So clean up your online persona before that drunken night out with the girls or the lads costs you more than a few jugs of sangria.

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