Checklist: Clean Up Your Web Trail

How to find where your personal information is located online.

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The World Wide Web was created back in 1989. Since that time, it has amassed billions of pages of information from millions of Web sites — many of which probably mention your name, your business and your associations.

Whether you’re an avid user of social networks or an online novice, chances are good that information about you occupies some corner of the Web. It is standard practice for recruiters and employers to use that Web trail to build a history and profile of potential candidates. Whether you’re just beginning your job search or you’re many months in, it’s smart branding to ensure your online presence tells your story as you would wish it told.

Lindsay Olson is a partner and recruiter at Paradigm Staffing as well as an expert on using the Web to market yourself and hunt for a job. With her help, Ladders built a printable worksheet in Portable Document Format (PDF) to help you examine your online profile systematically and make sure it is spotless before it is seen by recruiters and potential employers.

CAREER ADVICE

We won’t be able to cover every aspect of the vast Web here, but these steps will cover the Web sites and pages most likely to cause you trouble in your job search. (For a quick primer on using LinkedIn, Facebook and other social-networking tools, you can also download Ladders’ recent package “Can You Facebook Your Way to a New Job?” )

John Hazard John Hazard

John Hazard is the News Editor of Ladders.