So, you are looking for the perfect job through the online channels, and there it is! It looks like it was written just for you! You apply, get interviewed, you are sure you aced it, and then.. no, you didn't get the job. Did they do an online background check on you?

Online Background Check - Large Companies

Many larger companies will hire or outsource the advertising, interviewing and pre employment background checking of prospective employees. Depending on the nature of the job or position you have applied for, this could be a simple reference check or a online background check, or an in depth pre employment background and credit check. They need to know they are hiring the right person. To many companies, a pre employment background check is very important.

Online Background Check - Small Companies

Many smaller companies, once they have it down to a couple of potential new employees, will do a "simple" online background check, known as "googling"! Now what shows up when someone types in your name may just stop you from getting that job. You may not think that is fair, but what is online is public, and it may shed another light on you that does not show your best side!

So, if you are big on Facebook and other social media sites, and you have a habit of posting pictures from that party night, or tell everyone on line things you wouldn't want your grandma to know, then maybe it is time to do some housecleaning before you start applying for jobs.

Since a lot of job searching and submitting resumes can be done online now, then it makes sense that a prospective employer may just do some online background check on you! Just like you will check out the prospective company online to see what they are about and if you feel you would like working there. With the internet, both sides can do a bit of research!

Once you have pictures, notes and pages online with your name attached to it, nothing is really secret anymore! So, what can you do about it?

Online Background Check - Check Your Own Name

Google your own name and see what comes up. If there are some "embarrassing moments", see if you can take them down or delete them, but sometimes this can be hard when it has gone viral online.

Just to show you how powerful this is, I googled my son's name and up came a forum post he made back in 1998, still online. Luckily it was nothing bad, just a car forum post, but it is still online and shows up when you put in his name.

If you can't really do much about silly things online about you, such as on Facebook, or other sites, then maybe start adding some good things. Facebook and other social medial are suppose to be private, but all that needs to happen is the employer become friends with one of your friends and everything is out. Chances of that happening, who knows? But I can tell you this. I work for a small company and the first thing the owner does when she gets a resume she likes is google them. Many times a facebook page will show up, amongst other things.

Online Background Check - Add Good Things

One thing that you can try, after doing as much house cleaning as you can with your online presence, start adding some things, such as a good profile in Linkedin or in Google Profiles. These types of sites will usually show up first on a search.

Linkedin is a very powerful site, that is helpful when looking for jobs, or for business if you are self employed, as you can describe your business, and use keywords for it. This helps you come up in a search. It is also a good start with job searching.

So, before you apply for that job online, do a online background check of yourself and see what comes up. Get into any site or blog or social media that comes up with your name and see if you can take down any questionable pictures or comments, and do as much house cleaning as you can.

Online Background Check - Credit Check

Also, depending on the position you are looking to get, you may want to check your credit rating and records. Some prospective employers will do a background credit check on you (they have to have your permission to do a credit check) so, it wouldn't hurt to get a copy of your credit score and make sure it is OK. You may also need to do some house cleaning here too. So, do some homework.

So, just remember, everything you put online, can sometimes come back at you! So, google yourself and see if you can make a online background check look good!