Social media has fundamentally changed the way that we communicate as a society. So why is it surprising that Social Media has changed the way recruiters and hiring managers screen candidates for job positions? There is so much information out there on candidates, allowing companies to learn more than what is shared on a resume.

When I work with students and graduates, I always conduct a simple Google search to see what pops up when I search for their full name in quotes like “Michael Iris”. Today you are what Google says you are and job seekers as well as college students need to be aware of this. Everything is out there and employers have access to all of your information. (More than you think!)

In my opinion, a perfect Google Search will produce your LinkedIn Profile at the very top. (or near the top) This is what you want employers to see and go to if they are looking to learn more about you. Once you have a full LinkedIn profile established for a few weeks or so it will pop up on your Google search.

Facebook should not pop up in your Google search and if it does, you should turn this off. My Facebook page does not appear in my Google search because I adjusted this setting in Facebook and you can too! I advise the job seekers I work with to always turn this setting off so that employers will not be directed to your Facebook Page from your Google Search.

You can find this under Facebook Privacy Settings, on the bottom of the list you will see “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?” you would then uncheck “Let other search engines link to your timeline”. Do this today, and also go through the other privacy settings as well to make sure you are only sharing information with your friends and family, not the entire planet.

It takes a few weeks for your Facebook Page to disappear from your Google search but it’s worth the wait. Remember to review and adjust the privacy settings on any social networking website you use because chances are you don’t even realize how much information about yourself you are exposing to the world on a daily basis.

-Michael Iris, Director of Career Services, Berkeley College Online

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About Mike Iris

Director of Online Career Services at Berkeley College and VP of Marketing for The NJ Association of Colleges and Employers.

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