Your Digital Dirt is Still Killing Your Job Search

By now, we all know that social networking mistakes can really come back to haunt you when you’re job searching. And yet we keep making them.

We always need to be aware that information put out on the Internet, in general, can potentially be seen by anyone. Don’t get caught thinking that just because it’s social media that it’s casual. Be protective of your social profiles, especially if you’re the type of person who shares personal information on Twitter or Facebook—and even more so if you complain about your boss, make negative or derogatory statements, or post anything that you wouldn’t want brought up during a job interview.

Curious about what they can find out about you and what you can do if you’ve made a few “oopses” online?

  • Start by completing a Google search on your name. This will tell you what the most popular links are about you out there on the Internet; if you have digital dirt, start right now getting it cleaned up
  • Set your personal social networking profile to private (seriously private; set it so that only your accepted friends—and no one else—can see what you’ve posted on Facebook
  • Be smart; don’t post things on social media you wouldn’t want brought up in an interview (even if it’s on your Facebook page and it’s set to private, ou never know who knows someone, who knows someone)
  • Make sure no one else by your same name has crazy horrible things out there that are popping up in search results
  • Begin using your middle initial on your resume and in any job search-related documents (by using your middle initial you are avoiding any confusion between yourself and someone with some potentially damaging information on the web)

Even when you’re not in an active job search, you really have to think beyond resume and employment applications. With technology progressing, you have to be diligent, intentional, and proactive.

Consistently do your research to make sure there isn’t any digital dirt about you out there —and stop making simple social networking mistakes (like over sharing) that can really get you into hot water.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Great Resumes Fast!

About the Author: A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. With more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, she has developed innovative and proven resume development, and personal branding strategies to generate powerful results for clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted on,, Job Talk America radio, SmartBrief, International Business Times, and more. Jessica has her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Public Relations from the University of North Florida. Contact Jessica on Twitter!

This entry was posted in Job Search, Social Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.