Are old copies of your resume still online somewhere? If it’s been a while since you’ve looked for work or updated your online presence, you might be surprised at the version of you that recruiters are seeing when they Google your name.
And they will Google—according to a CareerBuilder survey, more than two-thirds of employers use search engines to screen candidates during the hiring process. The last thing you want when you are job searching is recruiters and hiring managers seeing an outdated version of your resume while they’re forming an impression of your skills.
There are other reasons to remove your resume from the internet, too. Maybe you’re looking for a new job while you’re still employed, and don’t want your boss to find out. Perhaps you’re concerned about privacy and security, and don’t want your personal information floating around online.
Regardless of why you want to take your resume offline, here’s how to do it.
How to Remove Your Resume From the Internet
Let’s assume that you don’t know where your resume was posted. Your first goal is to find the copies of your resume that are most visible to your professional contacts.
How to Find Your Resume
To find the copies of your resume that show up publicly, search Google by your name and the word “resume.” If you posted your resume so anyone can view it, it should show up.
You can also search a bit more specifically and include some keywords that you know are on your resume. For example, search Google for your name, job title, and company.
Review Your Email Accounts
Another way to check where you have posted online is to go back through your old email messages. You should have received a confirmation email when you set up an account on the job board.
You may also have received email messages from prospective employers. When you find an account you created, you will be able to log in and delete your resume or make it private so it's not visible to employers.
Check the Usual Suspects
If your resume is visible, searching on Google and in your email inbox should help you find it. But to be absolutely sure, you can also log in to any professional social media accounts or job search sites that you’ve used in the past to see if you have a resume posted. If you don’t find any copies of your resume, you’re probably in the clear.
Be sure to keep track of all job search activity going forward. A simple spreadsheet or list is all you need. Include all your usernames and passwords, and don't use the same ones for job sites as you do for your personal logins. Even better, create a new email account to use just for your job search.
Make Your Resume Private
If you found copies of your resume on the internet, you may be able to hide them without totally deleting them. With some job sites, especially those that have a networking component, you may want to leave your resume online, but limit who can see it. Check the privacy settings. You may be able to change your resume's visibility from public to limited or private.
How to Delete Your Resume
If you’ve decided that you do want to delete your resume, log in to the sites where you posted it and delete or remove your resume. If you don't remember your usernames and passwords, follow the instructions on the page for retrieving a forgotten username or a lost password. It only takes a few minutes to fix.
You’ll need to know what email you used when you created the job site accounts.
Once you’ve logged into each site, you should be able to find a link to your resume. It should be easy to delete.
If you can’t figure it out, look for a “Help” link where you can search for instructions, or a “Contact Us” page and send a message to the website’s support team who can help you delete your resume.
Update Your Account Information
While you are looking for your resume, take the time to update your online career-related accounts. You never know when you might need them in the future. If you have a LinkedIn profile, update it with your latest employment information.
If you have an online version of your resume, and you want to keep the account, make sure that all the information is current.