You Google+ profile is really important when it comes to looking for a job. This is especially true if your gmail account (or any email account) is hooked up to your Google+ account, since anyone checking their email through Gmail will see your Google+ account on the top right corner of their screen.
Google+ also shows up very high in search engines, so if you can be identified there’s a good chance your account will be found. If in any doubt have a look over our post – How to Fix Your Online Identity before you start looking for a new job. To be perfectly safe you can shut your account down while you are looking for a new job, but if you cannot or that just seems a bit extreme, the following are tips to clean up your Google+ profile:
- Delete Personal/Unprofessional Links – Google+ is for sharing links. But make sure that the public cannot access your personal links and any unprofessional links that you can delete are deleted. Remember, even a well written article about parenting could seem unprofessional – either because it tells someone about your personal life (e.g. you’re a parent) or it’s about something controversial (e.g. causes of autism).
- Check EVERYTHING – Don’t just remove unprofessional links. Check everything you’ve ever created through Google+. That includes not only links and pictures, but also +1s and reviews. Yes, you need to make sure that the personal reviews you’ve made are hidden or deleted, because chances are they are not all positive or well written.
- Remove Identifying Info – Remove any unprofessional pictures, change/delete your name, cut out your birthday, and make sure that nothing someone can search for shows up on your page. For example, if someone searches for your name and your current workplace, make sure it doesn’t show up in G+.
- Require Circles – Make sure that you’re also requiring that someone be in your circles to receive any of your information. Create a new Gmail account and new Google+ account and visit your page to make sure that you’re not able to see anything.
- Fill it With Industry Links – Unlike Facebook and Instagram, Google+ can impress recruiters. But it can only impress recruiters if it’s filled with valuable, industry related information and your thoughts on the topic. So if you decide on keeping your Google+ active, fill it with interesting information. You CAN make that public (ie, not require circles) but make sure that you’re keeping it updated and that it is not controversial.
As with all social media, deleting the account is the simplest solution but if you decide to keep it just make sure you clean things up before you start applying for jobs. Social media is fun, but not as important as getting a job. The only social assets that can really actually help you find a new job are Twitter and LinkedIn as long as you are using them correctly.
See Also: Related Post – Why is it Difficult to Create a Professional Social Media Profile?
See Also: Related Post – The 6 Best LinkedIn Job Search Tips