What does Google Say About You?

I have written before about checking on your social media presence but, right now, it is more important than ever to monitor what people see when they google your name.

There was a fascinating and frightening article in the New York Times on Sunday.  A mild mannered, middle-aged guy in the UK got an urgent call from his father.  He had been alerted by his friends about some nasty items on social media that centered on, not just the son, but the whole family.

Sure enough, there was a stream of false and slanderous information targeted at him, his wife, and several other relatives. Investigations by the police and an intrepid reporter revealed that it had been the work of a less-than-stable woman who wanted to get even with the family for something that had happened years ago.

At this point, I thought it was a pretty interesting story but the next victim’s story really hit home.  She did not realize she had been a target until she deliberately changed her name on her resume.  She had been interviewing for jobs for which she was very qualified but not getting called back.  She used her maiden name on her next applications and not only got interviews, but had two offers within a short time.  She googled herself and realized that there was a slew of terrible things associated with her married name and that she had been a target of the same individual.

It seems that with a little bit of knowledge, a lot of time and the right motivation, you can ruin someone’s social presence.

Almost all of my clients are doing background checks that include examining a candidate’s social media presence. 

Most would take it into consideration if the candidate had been the victim of a targeted attack but only if they knew up front.  It would not have the same impact if you explained it later – plus you might have a lot of other things on your mind.

So, stay ahead of it – check google regularly by typing your name into the search bar with quotation marks at the beginning of your first name and the end of your last name.  See what comes up – you might actually surprised in a good way.

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