Your online presence is an important part of your personality, especially when looking for a job. That should make you think: Have I been a courteous and socially responsible online, or have I been a crass, offensive troll?

Prior to the interview stage, hiring personnel considering your application may have never met you, and all they have to go on is what they find through Google or social media. Right or wrong, they have to make a snap judgement about you based on what they find online.

Before searching for your next job, it’s important to assess your presence online and remove any posts you don’t like. Then, focus on creating positive, professional content.

If you think that’s easier said than done, consider the following tips.

Auditing Your Activity

If you’re going to assess and clean up your online presence, you have to get a clear picture of the information about you that is out there.

A first step is to sign out of all your Google accounts and conduct a Google search for your name. Be particularly aware of the first few pages that come up. These are the results a potential employer is most likely going to look at when Googling your name. Also conduct searches on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and a few others just to cover all your bases. Make notes of everything you find that seems questionable or outright bad for your reputation.

Delete, Delete, Delete

Now that you know what pops up when someone looks for you online, do something to get rid of unwanted outcomes. The posts and material your remove doesn’t always have to be things you posted. Whatever the case, take steps to deal with it. On Facebook, you can untag yourself from posts, remove old posts or go to Privacy Settings and select the Limit Past Post Visibility option.

If you can’t access material through social media, Google and other search engines have ways for you to request that content be taken down. There are also businesses like BrandYourself that can help you manage your online reputation, but often at a price.

Generate Good Content

Sometimes, all the deleting in the world won’t make you satisfied with your online presence. If this is the case, you should try to outweigh any negative or missing information with positive, professional content.

Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Post useful, noncontroversial links to your social profiles, such as stories to industry developments, local events and even sports stories.

If you generate a large enough volume of content, you can stamp out any negativity that is out there.

Make a Personal Website

A personal website is something that could help any job seeker and, as an added bonus, goes a long way to controlling your personal brand online. While buying a domain name and setting up a website does cost money, there are numerous free options out there, including and

At Action Group Staffing, we regularly help folks address any job search issues they are facing and get them on track to their next career opportunity. If you’re currently looking for your next job opportunity, please contact us today.

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