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You’ve got a killer resume and aced the interview, but according to a new survey, your future boss is judging you on your Google search results, too. Here’s how to make sure that what’s on the Web won’t come back to bite you in the butt.

By Mina Azodi

 

Early this summer, Katie Couric delivered the commencement address at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Her advice to graduates? “Clean up your Facebook page.” Okay, so those words aren’t exactly change-your-life inspiring, but she makes a (very) important point. According to a recent survey of HR professionals, 79 percent of employers review online information about job applicants—and 70 percent say they’ve rejected a candidate based on stuff they’ve found. Yikes. And get this: Only 7 percent of job seekers thought their online rep affected their job search. We asked a top career expert for tips on how you can take control of your online info, so you can get the job you deserve.

 

Go Private
You already know you should de-tag any unflattering pics of you on Facebook—that means any that show you drinking excessively, dancing on top of bars…pretty much any photo you wouldn’t print out and show to your boss in real life. But you also need to make sure you’ve set your profile privacy settings to “Friends Only” (the other options are “Friends of Friends,” “Friends and Networks,” and “Everyone”). This minimizes the chances that a potential employer (or your current boss) can take a peek at your profile. The same applies to Twitter—make those tweets for your followers’ eyes only by going to “Settings” and clicking on “Protect my updates.”

Still, you’re not totally in the clear. A Facebook status update or photo upload still can pop up on an employer’s news feed, if they’re friends with someone in your network who comments on your post. And with Twitter, any of your followers can retweet what you say, broadcasting it to a whole new network of people you have no control over. That’s why it’s smart to never post anything you wouldn’t be totally comfortable with a higher-up seeing…because there’s always a chance that they will.

 

Know What’s Being Said About You
It’s pretty much a given that a potential employer may Google you, so it’s crucial that you search for your own name to see what they’re judging. Before you do, be sure to log out of your gmail account if you have one (on the Google homepage, click “sign out” on the top right hand corner). Since Google keeps track of what you click, your results will be different than what an employer sees. By signing out, your results will appear as they would to a stranger who searches your name. Next, you’ll want to create a Google alert for your name to keep tabs via e-mail on any new results that may pop up. You can do this by signing back in and clicking “Settings” in the upper right hand corner of the Google homepage, and then selecting “Google Account Settings.” Next, click on “Alerts” under “My Products” to create one for you. Just type in your name with quotation marks, select how often you want to receive the notifications, and you’re done.

 

Bury the Bad Stuff…
Okay, so when you Googled yourself, you probably saw a link or two that you weren’t exactly thrilled about. And unfortunately, it can be difficult to get them removed. (You have to ask the Webmaster of the specific site, not Google, to delete the info—and since the site likely owns the content, they get the final say. That said, it’s always worth a shot!) For an even more proactive approach, you can hide those search results by creating new stuff that shows up first in a search. The easiest way to do that is to register for your own Website, like http://www.janedoe.com, or sign up for a blog on WordPress or LiveJournal that has your name in the URL. Almost always your site will show up first in a search, pushing anything negative down the list. You can also take advantage of social networking sites like LinkedIn, Flickr, and Vimeo, since their pages rank high in Google and will be at the top of search results of your name. Simply open an account, input the bare minimum amount of info, and set it so that it can be publicly searched—you don’t have to actively use the site.

 

…And Pump Up the Good.
When employers search for your name, they’re not just playing online cops—they also want to see evidence that you’re the kind of employee that would be the right fit for their company. So while you don’t have to actively use the personal webpage or LinkedIn profile you created to bury content, those sites are an awesome opportunity to show off what you’ve got. Fill in your LinkedIn profile with details from your resume, publish photos of your hiking trip to Flickr, or post videos from a recent 5K you ran to Vimeo—all of these things let an employer see you as the well-rounded, impressive job candidate they can’t pass up.

Source: Alexandra Levit, career expert and author of New Job, New You and MillennialTweet

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source: www.cosmopolitan.com

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Published August 04, 2005
www.lifescript.com

Have you recently gone through some dramatic and transformative changes in your life? Whether these changes are related to your job, relationships, or spirituality, the shift has taken some getting used to and you need something positive to focus on. You enjoy a lot of different pastimes, but you really want to devote yourself to something you simply love doing. How do you find your passion? Perhaps just as important, how do you turn that passion into something meaningful and substantial in your life? Find out now…
  
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
 
A passion in life isn’t something you’re born with. It’s cultivated by your interests, what stimulates you and what you are genuinely excited about. But what if you want to pursue many avenues and just don’t know which one you’d be the most successful at or want to invest the most time in? Or what if nothing particularly lights the proverbial fire under your bottom, but you have a lot of energy that you could devote to something? Or maybe you’re stuck in a job you despise, but don’t know what other route to take that would truly be fulfilling.
 
Don’t fear. We have plenty of ideas to get your creative juices flowing to find your passion and make something worthwhile of it.
 
Answer these Questions
Answering the following questions is a great exercise in deciding where your passion may lie and what direction to go in. Write down your answers and look for a common theme. Your passion might be so obvious that it jumps right off of the page.
  • What do you love about yourself?
  • What did you want to be when you were a child?
  • If money were no object, what would you want to do?
  • What do you daydream about or think about during downtime?
  • How do others perceive you?
  • List five things you really enjoy doing and five things you’re really good at.
  • Name one thing you’ve always dreamed about doing but never told anyone about.

 

Look Around
Your passion could be right under your nose, but you just might not be in tune with it. Watch out for signs or for moments that inspire you or move you.
 
It might come in the form of a movie, a human interest story from a newspaper or neighbor, or a great ending to a great book. Go through your closet or look through old photo albums. You may have simply “stored” away memories of any passions or inspirations you had as a child or before you were married, had children or started in the work force.
 
Once you’re aware of everything around you, finding your passion might be easier than you originally thought.
  
Network
You know networking is a great tool to use in job hunting, but it’s also ideal to use to help find your passion and turn that passion into a productive endeavor. Let people in on your passion and dreams: They’ll become more of a reality the more you talk about them, and when an opportunity pops up that relates to that passion, they’ll let you know!
 
If the passion you’ve discovered has to do with a dream job, keeping the lines of communication open with all sorts of people will only increase your chances of pursuing your passion and achieving a goal.
  
Get Involved
Getting involved in volunteer projects is a fantastic way to test the passion waters. Start out by volunteering with one group. It can be at a soup kitchen, animal rescue group or reading to children at the library for an hour.
 
Really begin to feel what it means to do something positive for someone else – many people associate their passion with service. They feel it’s their purpose and their calling. Volunteer where you are drawn to, and then volunteer with something at the opposite end of your passion spectrum.
 
The more projects you’re able to experience, the more your imagination will be sparked.
 
Reach for the Stars
Nobody can live your life for you – your destiny is in your hands. If you’ve found your passion, you’re already on your way. If you’ve found a passion that seems a little more intangible than others, give it some serious thought, but don’t be afraid to go for it.
 
Too many people don’t follow their passion because they let the possibility of failure stop them before they even try. How will you know if things are possible if you don’t put yourself out there? Be proactive, reach for the stars and turn your passion into something productive and meaningful that will enrich your life and the lives of others.

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