AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

On a Job Search? Why Your First Impression Isn’t What You Think It Is

Image: Why Your First Impression Isn’t What You Think It Is

Did you know that nearly 80% of employers will type in your name into a search engine before they call you for an interview? Since this is the case, make sure that you want them to see what they find. (Remember, you cannot “unsee” something once you have seen it.)

To make sure you make the right first impression, start with these three steps:

Google yourself: Look at the first three or four pages to see what is visible to an employer about you. Do you see anything that could prevent an employer from calling you to set up an interview? If so, remove it or clean it up. Also, don’t be satisfied with not being able to find anything. With technology being so advanced, an employer should be able to see something. They may think you are hiding information if Google doesn’t seem to know you exist. Think of this as an opportunity to create your own personal brand.

Clean up social media: Make sure to go through any social media sites where you have an account and check the privacy settings to make sure you’re not sharing more than you mean to with the general public. Next, look for inappropriate language, comments or pictures and remove them if need be. Also, make sure to review your branding sites such as LinkedIn and make sure there are no grammar or spelling mistakes. Since you have accepted what is on these sites, these will be viewed as representations of you. Do you want your personal brand to portray something negative and that you are OK with that? What will an employer think? Also, even if your privacy settings are correct, make sure your brand is not affected by how you have represented yourself. In this job market, “who you know” is very important, and anyone you know who sees your profile could very well introduce you to someone else that may be able to help you out.

Start recreating (or creating) your online presence: If you feel that you may need to clean up your online image or you have found that you do not have one to begin with, focus on positive impacts that you can make. For example, create a LinkedIn profile to not only give employers something else to find besides what they may not want to see, but also to give yourself the opportunity to expand your expand your professional network. Build your profile by adding connections that may be able to help your career search. Develop a Twitter and Facebook presence as well, but remember to keep it appropriate. Put yourself out there professionally and market yourself as a potential candidate for employers.

Interested in more posts on job search related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.

If you’re a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 ext. 15060 or at Also, be sure to join the Career Services Club in the Virtual Commons where you can find hot job leads, network with fellow job-seekers, and discuss relevant job search tips from the Career Services Department with fellow club members.