Hunting for a job is a more intricate process in these current times than ever before in history. Job seekers from fifteen years ago did not have to contend with online personas and the management of information that is available about them to potential employers. These days, an employer can simply perform an internet search on employment candidates and make decisions based on the information they find online. If you are looking for a job, there are five things you can do to promote positive online reputation management:
The saying is true that anything you post online could come back to haunt you one day. If you regularly post pictures of yourself engaging in questionable activities on your social media accounts, those posts may show up on the first page for anyone searching for information about you. And rest assured that employers can and will do internet searches for potential employees before proceeding in the hiring process.
Make sure you do not constantly post combative remarks, either. Again, you may feel this is your personal life, but the search engines and employers find it to be fair game. A potential employee who is always shown in pictures drinking at wild parties and constantly argues in online forums about everything will likely not make most employers’ short list of hires.
This may seem obvious, but to some it simply is not. Do not post negative comments about former employers. If another employer sees these comments, how does he or she know their company will not be in your radar at some point if they hire you? This negativity towards your employer could be a negative dent in your reputation management efforts.
Having several social media accounts may help you to control what is showing up on the first page of search results for your name, but if you are not actively using the accounts or keeping them updated, they may not serve any other positive purpose for you. This is especially true of professional sites like LinkedIn. If you have an account, make sure it is up to date with relevant information that you want potential employers to see.
This is a positive forum for showing off projects you have worked on and pertinent skills that you may not place on your resume. Use it to its advantage and let it work for you in your reputation management.
Even for people who have names that may not be very common, someone with the same name as you could be wreaking havoc all over the part of the world where they live and if a potential employer sees this information, they may not do any further investigation to see if it really is you. Sometimes, the information they get is enough for them to decide it is not worth the trouble to try and dig deeper. If you really are not the person who is doing bad things that are being recorded, you need to at least be aware of what is out there so you can address it.
If you are the person who is stated online to have been embroiled in something unsavory, own up to it and be honest with a potential employer. If the item is something that is no longer relevant or that has since been thrown out, also bring along proof that the situation has been resolved. Not only will the employer appreciate your candor, but your being proactive in addressing the issue can also leave a positive impression.