Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why you should Google yourself

When hiring people, many stations do standard background checks. They'll spend a hundred bucks or so to find out if you've ever been arrested, have a string of speeding tickets, or have gone through bankruptcy.

But even if the station doesn't have a background check policy, you can be certain that the News Director is checking you anyway.

It's called an Internet search.

You see, once something is on the Internet, it pretty much never goes away. So if I'm hiring Nick Goodhair as my anchor, I want to find out as much dirt as there is to find.

Trust me, many a Google search has turned up unsavory stuff. It's one of the reasons you may have gotten some early interest from a ND and then never get your phone calls returned.

I've found some amazing stuff doing free searches of prospective hires. A female reporter wrapped in a towel (and nothing else); photos on Facebook or other social networking sites of the applicant in varying stages of drunkenness; a blog with either filthy language, offensive opinions, or both; and personal tales of drug use.

In this case "too much information" can cost you a job.

So take a few minutes and do some searches of your name online. Don't just use Google, but try a bunch of search engines. If something comes up that doesn't seem very professional, do your best to get rid of it.

As for your personal social networking sites, clean up any language and delete any pictures that might paint you in a bad light.

You must appear professional when searching for a job. That goes beyond your resume tape and your wardrobe.

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