Is your name a barrier to get hired?

What if your name was Bill Clinton?

By coincidence your family name is Clinton and you were named after your grandfather Bill.

What if your name was Pablo Escobar?

By coincidence your family name is Escobar. And you were named after the best friend of your father whose name was Pablo.

On both cases you’ll have some trouble getting hired. Because most employers check your name on the web and on social profiles before hiring you. And what comes up….. may not always be in your favour.
I’ve learned that there are agencies specialised in bringing what’s best about you and by burying the bad reputation associated with your name.

For example:
When you were young you worked for a company and published an article that wasn’t appropriate.
Somehow that article won’t vanish over the time and will still appear if your future employer looks for everything that is associated with you.
And if he finds it, you may forget to get the job of your dreams!
Seven in 10 employers check potential hires’ social media presence, according to a CareerBuilder survey from last year. Of those, almost 3 in 5 employers found content that turned them off from a candidate altogether.

Not having a social profile is not good either.

So these companies exist to bring other web pages on top and push the bad ones down the list. And it is rather expensive to hire them.

Here is an example:

BrandYourself, which serves clients of differing ages and job experience, offers several services.
Its basic do-it-yourself  service includes an improving search results, costs between $20 and $100.
The company also offers a more professional approach for complicated starting at $3,000 per year.

You can submit content that you want employers to find, like social media posts or a portfolio for instance. The company also  remove from your social media contents that employers could find problematic.
ReputationX, a company that caters to senior executives or entrepreneurs starting their own business, starting from $3,000 to $8,000 a month. It includes services like image analysis, reputation strategy and positive content development.

They calls it “genetically-modified content” and it’s used to suppress negative results. Hard to remove content such as an article from a major news outlet costs even more, up to $10,000 to $20,000 a month.

This company is so powerful that it will try to remove content that includes false information or allegations by contacting a publisher or journalist to get an article with incorrect information taken down!

So? Does any of you use this kind of service?

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