Managing Your Online Reputation


Most of the time social media accounts aren’t used with the understanding that a prospective employer may consider them during the hiring process. However, checking social accounts of applicants is becoming a regular procedure for HR managers. Doing this gives employers a more comprehensive picture of a person and sometimes uncovers much more information than the resume or other official documents. Depending on what admission officers or employers seek, the web presence and online reputation of the applicant can make a huge difference. It doesn’t mean that you have to make your social media accounts totally formal because of that. No way. It’s just that you need some more awareness on that matter.

Look at the answers of Diane Domeyer, the executive director of The Creative Group, to get a better understanding of the importance of online reputation.

Applicant’s Online Reputation VS Resume In Hiring Process

Both are important, but definitely positive online reputation is a great career asset. Today many employers search online to get more information about prospective employees. 86% stated that they tend to seek the info about their potential hires online. What they find there influences their decision.

Which Profiles Are Checked Most Frequently?

  • 68% look at LinkedIn profile
  • 65% just Google information online using applicants’ names
  • 46% look through Facebook pages
  • 30% review Twitter profiles of job candidates
  • 29% look for blog posts of the candidate

What Are The Most Common Mistakes That Candidates Make? 

Top two mistakes are:

  • They don’t update their info often enough
  • They provide too much information

Job seekers should monitor what information is mentioned about them online to make sure that they project a positive image. They also should avoid publishing negative commentaries about their employers, clients, and colleagues.

Is It Easy To Turn Negative Online Reputation Into Positive?

First of all, one should monitor his or her online presence when seeking a job. The easiest thing to do about this is to set Google Alerts for your name. You’ll receive notifications every time something appears about you online. If you find something negative, contact the person who posted this information and ask to take it down. If it doesn’t work – ask the website administrator or host provider. If it doesn’t work either, be ready to explain the HR manager why this comment appeared online and whether it has any relation to reality.

What Are The Basic Rules Of Creating A Good Online Image?

  • Choose one or two social networks that you like and be active there.
  • Share your thoughts, opinions and expertise, and ask questions.
  • Connect with people who share same ideals.
  • Be engaged in the discussions that you initiate.
  • When writing comments and showing your online presence, choose quality over quantity.


Evaluate Your Reputation

First, you should take an objective look at your digital footprint. “What’s a digital footprint?” you may ask. It’s basically an impression made about you by browsing everything that can be found on the web about your persona. How to improve your digital footprint? To make it happen, use the following tools:

  • Search Engines. Just type in your first and last name and see the results. Look through the first two or three pages and you’ll have a part of your online image in front of you. You should look for dating site accounts, blog articles, info on social media accounts, message board posts, comments, and mentions. All the negatives should be removed.
  • Social Media Accounts. How many social media accounts do you have? You should review all of them.
  • FACEBOOK. Check the info you have on your page, photos you liked, your wall posts, and Facebook search results for your name. Inappropriate photos, negative comments, and all dubious content should be removed. Go to privacy settings to customize them and limit the access to your profile.
  • TWITTER. Look through the followed accounts, mentions, profile descriptions, interactions, and tweets. This can be performed via sections “Me”, “Tweets” “Notifications”. Inappropriate interactions, mentions, followed accounts, and tweets should be removed. Privacy settings aren’t very flexible on Twitter. You can only have public or protected Tweets.
  • TUMBLR. Browse liked posts, Tumblr search, followed accounts, and posts. All this info can be found on your dashboard. Privacy options on Tumblr give you an opportunity to make blog updates private and even set a password for the entire blog.
  • PINTEREST. Check the profile description, pins, boards, likes, and followed accounts. Go to “Your Profile and Pins” to see the info that people see about you. Delete all unprofessional pins and comments. Also note that Pinterest gives you an option to make your account invisible for search engines.

How To Manage Online Reputation

Once you’ve found the content that you don’t like about yourself, remove it. It’s easier said than done in case it was posted by someone else or was posted from the account you can no longer access. Here’s what you can do about common reputation problems.

  • Whether it’s social media content or something undesirable that you have found elsewhere on the web – the number one advice is the same. Contact the person who uploaded or wrote this content and ask to take it down. 
  • If you want to use some preventive measures and monitor your reputation online 24/7 – use Google Alerts. It’s a free and convenient service that allows you to receive notifications every time your name appears online.

Remember that your online reputation is not something that should be monitored only when you’re looking for a job. It’s an ongoing process.

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Managing Reputation: Tips for Students

The best way for students to control their online reputation is to remain proactive about their submissions. When you post something, make sure your words won’t damage your academic career or future opportunities. It’s also important that your post doesn’t taint others’ reputations – your classmates, teacher, or anyone else. You need to have a mental filter that will help you remove any content of such kind.

There are some useful recommendations freshmen and sophomores should follow:

  • Be careful about adding strangers to friends
  • Don’t share too much information publicly
  • Watch the photos you’re tagged on
  • Don’t add your teachers or school administrators to friends. Imagine their surprise if you skip a class and post a nice photo from a beach at the same day. Bet you don’t want such situation to happen.

More tips for upperclassmen include:

  • Don’t add content that can influence your job search prospects
  • Create a LinkedIn account
  • Add people you’ve connected with on your fieldwork, internship, or volunteer job
  • Connect with the key figures from the companies where you’d like to work
  • Look info about forthcoming employment opportunities on social media

Managing Reputation: Tips for Job Seekers

It’s estimated that 77% of recruiters hire candidates through social media networks. So, make sure that your reputation is clean and use your digital presence to get in touch with recruiters.

Using social media accounts, you can improve your resume by the following:

  • Add illustrative examples of your past experiences using the option of adding a link or uploading a file. It can be your news articles, marketing campaigns, research reports, etc.
  • Ask your teachers or former employers to add recommendation about you on your account.
  • Taleo is a useful cloud database for applicants and employers. Statistics say that almost half of Fortune 100 companies use this resource for hiring employees. If you want to get a job in any of the corporations listed on Taleo, get a pre-filled Universal Profile to make the job search process easier.  

Remember that in our digital era, lack of networking accounts can send a wrong message about you to recruiters. Your social media presence is now a sign of your credibility. Therefore, it’s better to have accounts with little information than having no accounts at all.

Here are some more tips on how you can use your social media accounts to attract employers:

  • Increase the number of your friends and followers
  • Post interesting thought-provoking content and update it regularly
  • Understand your current status. Use such resources as Facebook Insights, Klout, Social Mention, Google+ Ripples for that
  • Begin conversations on event or group pages
  • Post current news that get many likes, comments, and reposts

Using these tips, you’ll create a good online reputation and attract many employers.

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