I recently wrote a blog entitled ‘What Does Your Online Reputation Say About You?’
I outlined how organisations are screening potential job candidates online and how managing your online reputation is as important as ever.
In part two of this piece, I will focus on how employers evaluate online reputations as well as provide some tips on how you could improve your online reputation.
Employers have quickly caught on to the social media trend. Organisations using social networking sites including; LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to recruit, increased from 34% in 2008 to 56% in 2011. In addition, the number of organisations who do not plan to use social recruiting dropped from 45% to 21% during the same period.
As expected, results established LinkedIn as the most popular for sourcing potential employees, with 95% of companies that use social media recruiting through LinkedIn. Facebook came in second with 58%, followed by Twitter at 42% and traditional recruitment sites at 23%.
What this means for job seekers is that it’s even more important than ever to be prepared to be found by organisations. In addition, it is also important to be proactive in your own search for a job so you’re in the right place and right time if a company is looking for someone with your skills and experience.
Tips to Help Improve Your Online Reputation
Social media has made our lives very transparent. When people hear about you for the first time they will usually Google your name to see who you are and what you do. Chances are that if they find content that they don’t like, they aren’t going to get back in contact with you.
Below I pinpoint ways in which you can improve your online reputation.
Google Yourself: Research suggests that this is the first thing a potential employer will do if they want to find information about you online, so it’s a good idea to be a step ahead of them. Be proactive and Google yourself! A quick online search will extract some of the information about you that is available to others online.
Maintain Privacy: Check your privacy settings on all your social networking accounts to make sure your personal information is kept private. Take advantage of Facebook’s privacy setting to keep photos and videos that others post of you off basic Web searches.
Remove or hide any negative content that you control: If you have negative content that can be seen to the public on any site that you control the best options are either to delete the page or change the privacy settings to private. The less negative content visible, the better.
Separate social networking from job networking: It’s easy to fall into the Facebook job-hunting trap, but keeping social networking and job networking separate will help you avoid blurring the lines. Build up your prospective job contact list on professional networking sites like LinkedIn instead.
Listen: Feedback is important but what people are saying about you will be useless if you don’t take heed. You can learn from the experiences of others when it comes to what information you share online.
Stay consistent: Make sure your professional and educational background information on your social networking profile matches the information on your resume. Needless to say, any mismatch in information will give potential employers a reason for concern.
Monitor your progress: To make sure you are in line with goals you have set yourself, double-check all information you share on your social networks. Be sure to constantly update any old information that is no longer relevant.
If you’ve never given a thought to your online reputation, now is as good a time as any.
Have you ever encountered a situation where your online reputation has compromised your work? Any tips to share?