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Clean up the mess!

27 Jan

The two last blog posts focused on the classic steps and tools for your job/internship search. Let’s now get back to serious stuff and be ready to rock your social applications!

Before sending out your applications (résumé, cover letter, etc.) think about what the recruiter will do when (s)he receives it. Unless (s)he has an awfully low Internet connection_ in which case receiving your email must have been the miracle of the day, I bet (s)he will search you online.


As pointed out in the above image, your résumé is an appetizer. In the #mylifeisallovertheweb time, recruiters won’t spend much time on your résumé. While recruiting interns for my firm, I spent 20 seconds maximum on résumés, selected four candidates that caught my attention and Googled the four of them. Well, now that you know that, get ready for it!

Step 1: Google yourself and clean the mess up!

My advice (I do it quite often): hunt yourself in search engines and check every single link from at least the five first pages. When I say “check”, I mean:

- Delete old accounts that are not relevant anymore or truly do not show your best side (pages created during high school ant that looked so cool at that time … but not so much now).

- Update all your current profiles (Linkedin, Plaxo, Myspace, Facebook, etc.) according to what you intend to work with. No need to keep thousands of accounts if you never update them or build a community on them. Keep only the ones that you feel confident developing your personal brand with (see previous articles about which information to publish, where and when).

- Delete PG-rated pictures from your social profiles! Even if your data is ‘locked’, you never know what kind of geek recruiter you have at the other end. And even if all of them aren’t that good with reaching your every single piece of data, some of your friends may relay pictures you do not (or should not) approve of. I agree that everything that appeared once online can be found again even if you delete but please, make it a least a bit difficult!

- Manage your information visibility: lock down your personal data in order to keep your pages clean.I hear a lot of people complaining about their information being seen by their bosses, colleagues, potential recruiters and else. But it can be most of the time prevented by simple settings’ activation.

- Check out which website relay your information (Twtrland, 123people, etc.) and take control over that information: create an account on these platforms and claim your data. Delete or update content and repeat these actions for every single link.

Make sure to do these steps at least every three months. It will help you control the information people can find on the web, and also enhance your search engine and social media optimization. Fresher your data, better your visibility!

>> Tip: If you want to start cleaning up, check out Brandyourself.com. The free version allow you to optimize some key links, find out what search engines have under your name and rank the information.

Step 2: Build your web image carefully

- Complete your professional profiles: add a nice profile picture and complete every section thoroughly. Most professional networks offer a “tour” with the successive steps.

- Communicate your passions and area of expertise wisely: post articles around your interests on a personal blog, share your pictures via Instagram, Flickr, or Pinterest. don’t be afraid you display your skills and your creativity (as long as it stays politically correct, non discriminatory, blablabla).

- Select a primary network (Linkedin, Twitter, or your blog) and communicate with it largely: as a link on your pdf/paper résumé and cover letter, your other social networks and your email signature or as a QR code on your business cards or other documents.  Then make sure to keep this primary network up-to-date and professional as it will be the first link that people will have for you online.

Once you’ve completed these steps, wait a few days and Google your name again. Keep doing this until no negative links appears on, at least, the first three pages. Once you’re done with the cleaning, we’ll start the application process.

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