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Online Reputation Management is Key to Finding a New Job

posted 13 Oct 2010, 16:10 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 13 Oct 2010, 16:12 ]

Online reputation management is becoming important to the job
search process of recent college graduates. In fact, it's
becoming so important that Syracuse University is giving
this year's graduates a six-month subscription to an online
reputation management service.

Syracuse University has realized your personal brand —
your personal online reputation — can affect how you
are seen by employers. They want their graduates to practice
good online reputation management, beyond the typical "don't
post nude or drunken photos of yourself on Facebook" advice
that is normally given to college students.

HR professionals consider online reputation management
during the hiring process. How important is online
reputation management? A recent study of HR professionals
and hiring managers showed that 70% of human resources
professionals and hiring managers have rejected a candidate
based on negative information they found online. That means
what you put on Facebook, your blog posts, and even your
tweets all play a part in your online reputation management.
Post inappropriate photos and messages, and it can hurt you.

Similarly, 85% of those same people said positive online
reputation management by the candidates influenced their
hiring decision "to some extent," while nearly half of them
said that a strong online reputation influenced their
decision "to a great extent." Think of it this way: if you
and another person are competing for the same job, the
hiring manager is going to make a decision based on how well
either of you present yourself online.

In other words, people who practice positive online
reputation management can boost their chances in finding a
job. If you want to get your dream job, make sure your
personal online brand is clean, and supports what you have
said about yourself in your resume.

Monitor your online reputation.  In some cases, your online
reputation management may be a matter of reverse search
engine optimization — pushing down negative results
that already exist on the different social networks.

If you made a couple of bad decisions, that does not mean
you've doomed yourself to a life of underemployment because
you posted several. . . Spring Break photos on Facebook. By
deleting the photos, and then posting a lot of positive
content in blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other social
networks, you can reverse SEO your negative information off
the front page.

Another tip is to  use your full name, including middle
name, on your resume so when a hiring manager searches for
you, that is the name that will pop up in the search
results. If you create a positive online reputation for your
full name while working to push down your negative results
for your shortened name, you can help minimize the effect of
posting negative information. Check out some of our other
posts on reverse SEO for other ideas.

You can find free online reputation management graders that
will check your top 10 search engine results, and give you a
grade based on the number of results that are about you.

But another step of your online reputation management should
be to check out your own Google rankings. Search for your own
name — use your full name as well as your shortened
name — and see what pops up on the second, third, and
fourth page.

If you have done a good job at online reputation management,
your name and past glory will fill up the pages. If you have
not, you will either find all the embarrassing stuff you
hoped no one would ever see, or your name will not show up
at all.

If you want to have a positive influence on your job search,
be sure to practice positive online reputation management,
and make sure you are putting the best possible information
out there for hiring managers to find.

About the Author:

Julie Ross, of Rostin Ventures references for professional video
production of video resumes, including executive resume
services and expert online reputation management. also offers video resume
services to help college graduates get the edge in the
business world.