Your Online Reputation When Job Searching

May 30th, 2014

Could your online reputation be stalling your job search? Most employers these days do at least a Google search on job applicants. What will they find when they plug in your name? And will it be hurting you or helping you?

Do You Think You Don’t Have an Online Reputation?

First, if you’re thinking that you don’t have to worry because you’re not on Facebook or Twitter, you’re actually incorrect. What if an employer Googles you and finds something negative associated with your name? Worse, what if someone with your same name has been convicted of a crime or regularly Tweets offensive, inappropriate messages? You need to know what information an employer is going to see if they search your name.

And the best way to combat negative results on a name search? Provide positive, “clean” results by replacing the objectionable content with professional profiles you want employers to see.

  • Register your legal name as your domain name if at all possible. If your job search is public knowledge, post your resume on this site. There are inexpensive services that can help you do this.
  • Create profiles on a variety of social networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and even Facebook. Provide content that represents you well. And make sure your friends and family visit your profiles, because Google ranks based on popularity—if you get enough clicks, you’ll hopefully push undesirable search results to the second or third page.
  • Create a blog in your name where you regularly post content demonstrating your knowledge of the industry.

Why Is Your Online Reputation Important Anyway?

Reppler, a social media monitoring service, conducted a survey of 300 hiring professionals. Ninety-one percent of them said that they check an applicant’s online reputation during the hiring process, reviewing social profiles before the interview.

They’re not necessarily checking your Facebook page for pictures of you getting drunk at a party—although if they’re there, remove them—but they are looking to see how you present yourself and your ability to communicate effectively.

They also want to know if candidates lied about their qualifications, which can become apparent while cross-checking their background. And they’re also looking for indicators that you’ve actually done what your resume or application says you have.

It’s not all about finding strikes against you, however. These checks can also work in your favor as a job-seeker, if employers see things that give them a positive impression of your personality and organizational fit.

What Should I Remove?

If you have posted any of the following, try to take them down:

  • Online rants about touchy issues like religion or politics.
  • Information about dangerous hobbies or your drinking/drugging habits.
  • Negative comments about a current or former employer or colleague.

Remove the bad and promote the good, and you’ll know that you’re presenting yourself as best you can online! If you have any more questions about this topic, contact one of our recruiters! We specialize in placing candidates in great jobs in Wilmington, DE and beyond. We look forward to hearing from you!

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