With Data Privacy Day disappearing in the sunset, the calls encouraging you to check your online footprint are also fading. However with many of last semesters graduates hard at work trying to land their very first grown up job, I would like to revive the call. This time I want to add an extra tip, also check out the online footprint of those who share your name.
This little extra bit of advice comes from the experiences of a Mount Royal University employee. She had her new boss tell her to correct her education details on her Facebook page, insisting she had listed the wrong university. Here is the deal, they had looked at the wrong profile. Her information was correct. They had looked at another person’s profile who vaguely looked like her and had similar education. Fortunately, the owner of this other profile had posted information that any employer would be happy with. Our Mount Royal employee was lucky. It could have gone very badly.
The best way to check your online footprint is to grab a public computer, don’t login and then google yourself. Then check out all the people on the first three pages (most employers don’t have the time to look further) of search results. If you find someone else with a less than desirable profile that you could be confused with, include a notification of this on your resume. If something is showing up that you want kept private, change your privacy settings for that account or ask the account provider to remove the material. The last thing you want is to end up like this guy.