“Flying under the radar” doesn’t mean you are captain of a stealth plane sneaking in and out of dangerous territory – or does it? Depends on what you identify as dangerous territory. Executives have to be particularly careful when conducting a job search while employed. How do you maintain “privacy” when you are posting resumes online and with recruiters, updating your LinkedIn profile and creating a Visual CV that could easily be Googled and found by your boss?
Here’s a situation to avoid: your boss finds you on the internet or sees a post on Facebook or LinkedIn that you are looking for a new job. He doesn’t confront you, but hires a recruiter to replace you. Ouch! Here are three ways to limit your online exposure and take some control over what everyone sees about you online.
There are many opinions about continuing to use Google. Fred Nothnagel, executive director of WindNetworking.net believes “it’s best to stop using Google products as much as possible, although Yahoo and other large providers may soon follow Google’s lead.” He suggests using StartPage or IxQuick for search.
Don’t keep digital eggs in one basket
Like any successful executive running a company, you understand diversification of assets, customers, etc. You can diversify job search resources with much the same mindset. When you are in the midst of a confidential job search, consider yourself the “product” and every marketing piece written or verbalized should reflect your brand and have a strategic method for spreading the brand message.
Pam Dixon, World Privacy Forum executive director recommends using Facebook for social networking, Yahoo for email and Bing or Startpage for search. Dixon states: “It’s gotten a lot harder to live without leaving a trail of digital breadcrumbs,” and advises checking online security advice at World Privacy Forum.
Check out your digital dirt
Well, maybe not dirt, but certainly what cyberspace is saying about you to everyone on earth. And that information can be “out there” forever! Of course you can Google yourself to see what comes up. And another effective way to check out what Google associates with your account is to go to the dashboard option on your main Google account page. Google collects information from Gmail history, activities on Google Talk, Reader, Voice, Music, and chat, as well as contact and calendar information. This could reveal data that could be damaging to your brand.
I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. http://www.vizibility.com is a website that offers help with cleaning up your digital dirt and controlling some of the information that is revealed to the masses.
Be careful about what you post on social media (Tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn) with regards to your job search. And check your settings on all social media networking sites. For example, make sure you don’t have “looking for new opportunities” checked on your LinkedIn page. You may not realize that you have to “deselect” it.
You never know who is following you online and may reveal critical information to your boss or company. Keep tabs on what Google reveals about you in their searches, and control what you can to keep your image clean - not only for your current employer but also for any potential employer. They will be out there Googling you, too, if you are being considered as a potential candidate to fill a position with their organization.