Why Having No Positive Google Search Results Can Limit Job Opportunities for Your College Grad

Reputation Defender
8 min readJun 22, 2023
A smiling young woman graduating college in her black cap and gown.

Whether your young adult is about to graduate from college or is already celebrating his or her recent graduation, you should give your undivided attention to this article.

That’s because when it’s time, your child will be entering the workforce — placed under the proverbial microscope of the corporate world and critiqued for his or her online reputation portfolio. Social media allows recruiters to evaluate potential candidates on things not so easily accessible in the past.

Now, the lack of information online about a graduate can raise questions about credibility, professionalism, and overall employability — potentially putting your child at a significant disadvantage.

In this blog post, we explore the reasons why having no positive Google search results can be detrimental to your college grad’s future success. We also discuss strategies young people can implement right away to build an effective digital footprint that showcases their skills and accomplishments.

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get going.

Key takeaways

· College graduates need to prioritize their digital presence, as employers increasingly rely on Google search results to evaluate candidates.

· Having no Google search results can damage a college graduate’s credibility and limit his or her networking and job opportunities.

· Recent graduates should use certain strategies to improve their Google search results.

· Employers use social media background checks to evaluate potential hires’ character and behavior to determine good work performance or organizational culture fit.

The Importance of a Digital Presence for College Graduates

College graduates must prioritize their digital presence as employers and admissions officers rely on search results to evaluate candidates.

As such, your child needs to establish an online presence that includes accessible and relevant information that reflects his or her personal brand to create a definitive gap between your graduate and the competition.

Many parents and college grads believe it’s best to just cancel or suspend social accounts during the job hunt. This seems like a logical thought. You might think, “If there’s nothing to find, then there’s nothing that can come across as inappropriate. Right?”


This way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s why this article exists — to create awareness about one of many mistakes that evokes doubt in employers.

The hiring process shift

In recent years, the hiring process has undergone significant changes due to technological advancements and evolving employer expectations.

As a result, having a strong digital presence is more important than ever for college graduates looking to secure their first job or advance their careers.

The shift in hiring and the school admissions process includes an increased reliance on online platforms to find and evaluate candidates.

Before even considering applicants for interviews, recruiters often review social media profiles and other publicly available information about potential hires.

This step allows them to gain valuable insights into candidates’ personalities, interests, values, and professional goals while helping them identify any potential red flags early in the recruitment process.

Expectations of accessible and relevant information

Employers and hiring managers have come to expect accessible and relevant information about job applicants — especially college graduates.

Think about it. Many recruiters are close in age to your graduate. They use social all the time, so it’s natural for them to use it in their hiring efforts.

This means that a strong online presence showcasing your graduate’s skills, accomplishments, and professional interests is essential for making a positive impression.

In December of 2020, a 3 second video was the downfall of one student being admitted to her University of choice. What’s even more surprising is this particular video platform usually deletes clips after a certain period of time. But sometimes what should disappear on social media doesn’t. This is just one example of how actions of soon-to-be or current college grads can affect their future.

In my expert opinion, this includes not having this information readily available in the Google search results for their name.

A sparse online presence can signal to hiring managers that the candidate may lack initiative or awareness in managing their personal brand effectively.

Moreover, it can make it difficult for them to assess whether the individual is a good fit for their company culture or has the necessary qualifications required for the specific role.

The CV isn’t what it used to be. Today, there’s more to it than a cover letter and a few recommendations.

The Consequences of Having No Google Search Results

Did we say “big?” I think we said “big” several times.

But, just in case you didn’t read the first half of this post and you’re starting here, we mean “BIG” — so big that even Google looked into the types of employees they hired to see what kind of skills matter when looking for the “secret of a great future employee.” The Washington Post even wrote an article about it.

A survey conducted by the US nonprofit National Association of Colleges and Employers found that more than 200 employers, including Chevron and IBM, feel communication skills are among the top most-looked-for qualities by job recruiters.

College graduates who showcase their knowledge and skills through engaging blog posts or social media updates related to their field of study demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively and innovate within that space.

By doing so, they make it easier for potential employers to find them when searching for candidates with those specific talents.

Expert Tip: If you want to instantly boost your child’s credibility and career opportunities, speak to him or her about incorporating the above advice into his or her daily posting routine.

Because unfortunately, having no Google search results like this can lead parents and graduates down an entirely different path — one with missed opportunities, compared to peers with strong personal brands.

Why Social Media Background Checks Are So Important to Employers

It’s become more popular for employers to use social media background checks. In fact, there are entire platforms dedicated to it to make sure employers stay compliant.

Online reputation management is not going away. It’s becoming a necessity because employers are going to keep improving how they evaluate your child’s character, behavior, and lifestyle choices online.

They’re going to keep looking for ways the above traits reflect on work performance or organizational culture fit.

Here’s a breakdown of some benefits — explaining why social media background checks are considered effective.

Primary benefits

Employers find social media background checks to be a valuable tool in the recruitment process because they provide additional insight into a candidate’s online presence.

Below is a table highlighting some of the primary benefits of conducting these checks:

Just keep in mind there are best practice guidelines, and most employers who use social media screenings on a regular basis follow them. You can read some FAQs to learn more.

Strategies for Improving Your Google Search Results

Now that I’ve talked about how important it is to have Google search results and what they should look like, let’s talk a little about what to do if your college graduate does have searchable content that’s not so favorable.

Here are a few steps your recent grad can take to improve his or her online reputation.

Cleaning up social media profiles

To improve his or her Google search results and professional image, your child should start by removing or untagging inappropriate posts.

This includes any content that is:

· Offensive

· Controversial

· Unprofessional

These items should be removed from social media profiles immediately.

Privacy settings

This is one of the most overlooked areas of a person’s online presence.

That’s because apps change their privacy setting details all the time and just ask users to agree on updates.

If your college grad doesn’t keep privacy top of mind, then unpleasant or unwanted things could unexpectedly show up online.

It’s best practice to keep privacy settings updated often.

Always keep it professional

Advise your job seeker to use a professional tone and language on all social media platforms.

They should avoid using slang terms or any unnecessary abbreviations.

Be aware of photos: Photos can communicate more than words, so it’s essential to make sure that all images convey the right message.

Unprofessional pictures, such as those showing alcohol consumption or provocative clothing, should be removed.

Consider using LinkedIn: LinkedIn presents a unique opportunity for college graduates to showcase their education, skills, and experience professionally.

Encourage your graduate to create a LinkedIn account if he or she does not have one already.

Developing a personal website or blog

Developing a personal website or blog can be an effective strategy for college graduates to improve their Google search results and increase their visibility to potential employers.

Before your child starts, he or she should look at some personal website examples and consider the following tips:

· Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and reflects their personal brand.

· Use on-page SEO tactics, such as including target keywords in their content, optimizing page titles and descriptions, and using internal linking.

· Create high-quality, engaging content that showcases their skills, experience, and expertise.

· Share their website or blog on social media platforms to increase its reach and drive traffic.

· Regularly update their website or blog with new content to keep it fresh and relevant.

Developing a personal website provides an opportunity for young people to demonstrate knowledge and expertise while showcasing their personality and passion for their chosen career path.

Just remember to remind them of the importance of consistent branding across all platforms as they develop their online presence.

Active participation in online communities

One way to improve your child’s Google search results and boost his or her professional credibility as a college graduate is through active participation in relevant online communities.

Here are some strategies for new graduates to consider:

· Join LinkedIn groups related to their field and engage in discussions. This will enable them to connect with others in their industry and showcase their knowledge and expertise.

· Participate in Twitter chats that cover topics relevant to their career goals. By sharing valuable insights and resources, they’ll start building a following and increasing visibility online.

· Contribute to industry-specific forums or message boards by answering questions, starting conversations, or sharing articles or news updates.

By actively participating in these online communities, the recent graduates are given more opportunities to build relationships with other professionals in that field and keep up to date on industry trends and developments.


Students about to enter the job market would have a better chance to stay on top of the market with a LinkedIn, a personal website, or some other kind of valuable online presence.

It’s scary to think that online reputation management is still overlooked and not being used as a tool to gain the upper hand as much as it should.

The way we find information has changed a lot in the past 30 years. But the core factors, like reputation, are still necessary for a successful life. The important thing is that now you’re aware of how to help your child get prepared for the way things are done today.

If you follow the steps above, you are ensuring your graduate will be on the right path. To accelerate the personal branding journey, start with the free ReputationDefender reputation report card. It’s the best way to for see what your graduate’s online reputation looks like right now.

For more help, speak with an online reputation expert. ReputationDefender is always happy to help when you need them.



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