The Other Background Check: What Does Google Have To Say About You?

May 14, 2009


Employers have long known the value of background checks in reducing liability and protecting their investment in recruiting and training employees. But now employers augment this process with their own internet search.

Typically employers are looking for red flags, information that calls into question a candidate’s ethics, responsibility, or professionalism. But often employers also look for experience not listed on your resume and to verify your credentials. Managing your online presence requires proactive tracking of existing mentions and creation of new ones that will make you a stronger candidate to a potential employer.

  1. Do your own search. Use Google, Yahoo!, and MSN and search for various iterations of your name: “James Smith,” “Jim Smith,” “James Smith Arizona,” “Jim Smith Tucson,” “Jim Smith ABC Company,” etc.
  2. Evaluate. Visit each link with a mention of you and determine whether the content is positive, neutral or negative in relation to your job search. Bookmark both positive and negative mentions.
  3. Subtract. For all negative mentions, if it’s something you posted, delete it. If it’s thanks to a friend, contact them and ask them to remove it. Anything else, use your best judgment as to whether you might get it to disappear with a polite letter to the website owner, or whether that might make it worse. It takes only seconds to post something online, but can take months to remove it. Even once something no longer exists on the page, it can live on in cached pages, links, and other references.
  4. Add. Start a professional blog, participate in forums and online communities related to your field, volunteer for organizations where you may get some visibility, and create profiles for yourself on LinkedIn, Fast Company, and other online networking sites. All of these have the potential to rank high on search engines, pushing any potential blemishes in your record off of the first page of search results, and showing potential employers even more that you have to offer their organization as a new employee.
  5. Utilize. Once you have a good library of positive references online, think of ways that they could enhance your job search. Submit web links with your references when requested, or refer an interviewer to a link as a follow up to a question you were asked.

Take your online image into your own hands, and you can maximize your advantage and minimize any potential damage.

Photo credit: jonas_therkildsen

This is a guest post by Kristi Daeda.  Kristi is a Success Coach for organizations and individuals, and counsels professionals at all levels on effectiveness and maximizing talent.  She writes about career development, leadership, management, talent and job search at

Employee Screening Articles For April 2009

May 4, 2009

In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for April, here’s a quick recap of our most popular:

Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy

FYI Screening, Inc. offers a complete portfolio of employee screening services that will help you work smarter while providing the industry’s fastest turnaround and the highest quality results.

This will allow your company to focus on what really matters:

Hiring and Retaining The Best Employees Possible

Subscribe to our blog to stay current on all employee screening issues.

Enforcement Of The New “Red Flags Rule” Delayed Again

April 30, 2009


The Federal Trade Commission will delay enforcement of the new “Red Flags Rule” until August 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions more time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. For entities that have a low risk of identity theft, such as businesses that know their customers personally, the Commission will soon release a template to help them comply with the law. Today’s announcement does not affect other federal agencies’ enforcement of the original November 1, 2008 compliance deadline for institutions subject to their oversight.

“Given the ongoing debate about whether Congress wrote this provision too broadly, delaying enforcement of the Red Flags Rule will allow industries and associations to share guidance with their members, provide low-risk entities an opportunity to use the template in developing their programs, and give Congress time to consider the issue further,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.

Are You Complying With The Red Flags Rule?

The Red Flags Rule requires many businesses and organizations to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect the warning signs – or “red flags” – of identity theft in their day-to-day operations. Are you covered by the Red Flags Rule?

Download “Fighting Fraud with the Red Flags Rule: A How-To Guide for Business” here.

  • Find out if the rule applies to your business or organization
  • Get practical tips on spotting the red flags of identity theft, taking steps to prevent the crime, and mitigating the damage it inflicts
  • Learn how to put in place your written Identity Theft Prevention Program

By identifying red flags in advance, you’ll be better equipped to spot suspicious patterns when they arise and take steps to prevent a red flag from escalating into a costly episode of identity theft. Take advantage of other resources on this site to educate your employees and colleagues about complying with the Red Flags Rule.

Subscribe to our blog to stay current and learn more about the “Red Flags Rule.”

Photo Credit: rvw