I’m the Job Search Tech Specialist of the NYC Job Seekers group on Meetup. Something that I encourage each job seeker in the group to do is to start accounts on LinkedIn and VisualCV. There are two reasons I suggest starting accounts on these sites; the first is to provide extra information to potential employers and the second is to control the first page of results on Google, Bing and other search engines when potential employers search for their names.
According to an ExecuNet survey, 86% of executive recruiters say they have conducted background research on candidates using the web. I know that when someone searches me, they’ll find my blog, my company’s site, Flickr, Twitter, an audiobook I produced and some other Rob Blatt-centric sites. The bottom line is, it’s me.
A while ago, I wrote a post dissecting an email from spark1energy. Many other people searched a portion of the email or spark1energy.net and left comments on my post, saying they received the same email that I did. There were even some people who posted private information about other commenters in retaliation for agreeing with me. It reminded me what Ashley Morgan went through with his Immediate Edge [original post removed] postings. The funny thing is that Ashley also wrote something similar to this post after getting onto the front page for searches for Immediate Edge [original post removed].
What Ashley Morgan and my experience should be telling you is that you need to have control over searches for your name. If you don’t take control, someone else will, and you might not like what they have to say.