How often do you Google yourself? I know, it’s sometimes hard to admit the real number.
So, I’ll start. Of course I’ve Googled myself! Doesn’t everyone? You might be doing it for fun, (like before applying for jobs—which I highly recommend). Whatever the reason is, running your name through a search engine now and then is just a part of life now.
But, do you know what to do if your search turns up something you didn’t expect or don’t want associated with you? Here are four ways to repair or reduce the damage to your online reputation so you don’t have to cringe thinking about what a hiring manager finds.
1. Hide It
Sometimes out-of-sight can really be out of mind. And, in the case of those party pics from your college days or your over-enthusiastic “discussion” of the latest political issues, the good news is that you can essentially get rid of the evidence by just deleting the photos and the tweets, or by updating your privacy settings to limit the audience to “just friends.”
But, if someone else has made the information public, you’ll have to approach him or her for help. Explain to friends that you’re doing a digital cleanse. If they’re moving slow or not responding at all, pull the “it’s for my job” card.
Or, for websites, contact the company or organization behind them and make a polite but firm appeal to have the offending item removed. When that still doesn’t help, you can try turning to Google itself
or asking Facebook for help
in removing certain types of content.