Have you ever “Googled” yourself? Why not, are you chicken? Maybe you’re scared about what you might find? Well, you’re actually not alone. A study, commissioned by Microsoft, asked 2,500 professionals (HR representatives and recruiters) and consumers if they had ever Googled themselves. The survey showed that only 42% of Americans have actually done it. Pretty shocking, especially since everyone and their mother is now participating in social media. Interestingly, even fewer people are Googling themselves in the UK (36%), while Germany (59%) and France (56%) were much higher.
While consumers are not thinking it’s important to Google themselves, HR professionals and recruiters certainly do. About 75% of the survey respondents said they use a multitude of sites, both on search engines and various social media sites, to seek information about potential candidates. Here is a breakdown of the sites they use:
- 78% of respondents use search engines
- 63% use social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace
- 59% use photo and video sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube
- 57% use professional networking sites like LinkedIn
So, even if you’re scared to Google yourself because you just attended your buddy’s wedding, or you just recently graduated, I would highly recommend doing so. That way you can explain to the recruiter that the tiger in your car was actually Mike Tyson’s and you were going to return it, not steal it (a reference from The Hangover, for the 6 people who haven’t seen it yet). I’m sure they’ll understand.
Seriously, if there is negative content about you that is easily accessible via search engines or social media sites, it would be in your best interest to remedy that potential disastrous situation, whether you’re an organization or an individual. How do you go about doing that? I wrote a post on how to protect your brand, whether a corporate or personal brand, the same tactics will work. Read it. Do it.