What’s Your Googleability?

No, we aren’t talking about your ability to use google to find a local restaurant. I’m talking about how googleable are you?

ProjectsHalfDone | Googleability Blog

Professional friends – When is the last time you searched yourself on google?

As a former high school teacher, I’ve searched my first and last name many times. Why? Because you KNOW your students will. And students? We search you too. Same goes for college students that you teach, and potential employers. These days, it’s highly likely that employers will not only google your name, but also specifically search for you on social media to see how you have been presenting yourself in public.

That’s right, folks. The internet is public. In case you have forgotten.

I try to stress the importance of searching yourself to my students, but it’s worth a mention to colleagues as well. Think about how you would want that perspective employer, colleague, student, person you meet at a conference, etc to see you? What do you NOT want them to see? What are you doing in public (i.e., social media) that you maybe should not be doing? Are you advancing your career with your public image, or are you doing more harm than good?

Personally, I want my blog, my university affiliation, and my LinkedIn to be what people see. I’m proud of those things, I’m comfortable with those things, and I don’t care who sees them. In fact, I would like it if potential employers saw these pages, because I feel like I am demonstrating professionalism and capability in these venues.

Thankfully, when I google, these things do come up. (I always google both with quotes around my name, and without. Taking the quotes out doubles my search results but also makes the results much more inaccurate) 

ProjectsHalfDone | Googleability 1

Scrolling further down, all still things I would be fine with other professionals seeing.

ProjectsHalfDone | Googleability 2

I happen to be one of those (un)lucky individuals with a rather uncommon name. Most of what comes up, is truly me. Or related to me somehow. If you have a name like “John Smith”, well then, unless you are the most famous John Smith, you will probably have tens of thousands of google results, and none will actually be you. For myself, I’ve only got about 10 pages. It’s pretty easy to click through a few and make sure there’s nothing I wouldn’t want anyone to see. The worst thing that comes up is a negative review I left for a restaurant when I was displeased with their service. I’m fine with that.

What wouldn’t I want someone to see? Well, thankfully there isn’t much about my life, even college life, that I wouldn’t want someone to see. Now I’m sure there are posts (opinions) out there that I have written and probably regretted later, but they are few and far between. I’m sure someone somewhere has an embarrassing photo of me, in fact, I know there are some less-than-flattering photos of me running in races, but again, I’m ok with those being public. I don’t love the idea, but I’m proud of my running accomplishments, so the photos are fine too.

Speaking of pictures, DO NOT forget about pictures. I hadn’t thought about this much, but I did a google image search for myself. It was a little odd. Somewhat creepy. But still, good to look through and make sure there isn’t anything that shouldn’t be there.

ProjectsHalfDone | Googleability Images

Mostly, these are pictures of me, and then some pictures of people who clearly are not me. These mostly appear to be professional contacts. I think those are popping up from my university affiliation and from LinkedIn. Which, again, I’m fine with. As for the random picture of garlic….no idea, but that’s fine too.

Now, what didn’t come up in my search was also interesting. My “real” Facebook page did not come up. The one that did appear, was a highly searchable one that I made specifically for interacting with my students. This way, no friends could post things that I wouldn’t want my students to see. I kept all adult humor, politics, and opinions off this page. Also, my personal blog and instagram does not come up. That’s fine. I wouldn’t be upset if anyone saw either of those. I think the reason they do not come up is that I am somewhat careful not to use my name on those sites.

Overall, my google search is pretty accurate. You find my professional web presence, some of my local race results (and to be honest, I need to run more so these come up more. It’s a point of running pride to have a lot of race results pop up), and then some sites that clearly are not related to me, random “phone lookup” sites and the like.

If you’ve never googled yourself, here’s an article that might persuade you to consider it, if my suggestion is not good enough. Also, Google does provide some resources on editing your search results.

What about your search results? How often do you check google for yourself? Are you an employer, do you have tips for potential employees? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

The Great Job Hunt of 2015

Well, it’s about that time.

I’m slowly starting to head towards the light at the end of the tunnel. My advisor gently suggested it’s time to start applying for jobs.

*cue panic*

But it’s alright. I prepared for this. I’ve slowly been updating the CV. Brainstorming locations I’d like to apply to. Making lists of job hunting tips.

Let’s take a look at the CV shall we?

Here’s the old copy (some information redacted) from 2013:

Projects Half Done | Updating the CV

It’s kind of outdated. Chunky. Blocky. Boring. I realized during this process that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to reconsider my formatting. Modernize a bit. I looked around at some templates and ended up stealing one from a friend. (Thanks Dr. A)

Here’s the new version:

Projects Half Done | Updating the CV

I know this may seem like a silly little change, but it is important to have your CV be easy on the eyes, so to speak.

Also, the CV should be adjusted to each job you apply for.


Listen to me one more time.

Adjust. Your CV. For EACH job. 

Ok not literally each job…but in general that’s a good rule. If I’m applying to basically the same job at two different places, then I won’t tweak it much. But I will at least look at it.

So what do you adjust? A lot. Organization, your bullet points, highlighted experience. Add, rearrange and delete the information that best showcases your skills for that particular job. For example, I have a varied skill set. I’m a classroom educator and I’m also an evaluator. If I’m applying for an assistant professor position in an education department, I move my teaching experience and publications forward, higher up in the CV. If it’s an evaluation related position, then my evaluation experience comes up in the ranks. Make sure the potential employer can quickly see the skills you have that relate to the job. Don’t make them dig!

The same goes for the cover letter. For academia it is critical that each cover letter be specifically written for each position you apply for. This is an absolute, non-breakable rule. Yes, I do copy a few paragraphs or lines if I’m applying for two assistant professor positions at two different colleges. But I change a lot. Each job description should have a set of required and/or preferred qualifications.


Know them.

Reiterate them in your cover letter. However do NOT say “I see that you want someone that knows quantitative analysis”, rather state your experience with that particular skill. For example “During my graduate studies I have utilized both qualitative and quantitative data analysis in educational research projects”. Add context to their requested skills. If they are looking for “social science research” then phrase your cover letter using these terms. Reflect what they want in your cover letter. This is the place where you can elaborate on your CV. Talk about specific experiences. Explain why you’re the best candidate for this position. And always, always, thank them for their consideration.

Here’s a little infographic to help you remember:

Projects Half Done | Updating the CV

Are you job hunting too? What are your post-PhD plans?