Dressed in your best, armed with a perfect cover letter and a resume suited for framing over the mantle, you search for a job. Days spent filling out applications and handing copies of your portfolio to secretaries or Human Resource managers culminate to you sitting, wondering why a week has passed without one call for an interview. Perhaps your online reputation presents you as a less-than-desirable employee.
Before applying for jobs, check your online reputation. Employers now use Google as part of their screening process for hiring. Approximately half of all employers use social networks as a reference for employment with or without your consent. When you Google your name, the first two pages of search results will give you an idea of what employers see when running the same search.
What Gives You a Bad Rep
Your face and name appearing on a mugshot website or the picture a friend tagged you in at your brother's bachelor party could stop employers from considering you for the job. Unfortunately, your online reputation shows a person of questionable character. Even if it was false arrest and "you weren't even at that bachelor party."
A bad Internet reputation follows you like an annoying younger sibling. You do not get a chance to explain the circumstances of the mug shot that led to nothing, or that the photo of you in a bikini was actually a photo shoot for an upcoming feature film.
Employers look at your communication skills through your interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and similar websites. Just over 45-percent of all employers reject applicants based on their social media site interactions, reports the U.S. Small Business Association. Reasons for not considering an applicant:
- Poor communication skills
- Provocative posts or pictures
- Evidence of drug or alcohol abuse
- Diatribes about former employers
- A personality not fitting the company culture
Choosing to keep your accounts private or viewable by only certain people affords anonymity, but blocks desirable skills and references from employers. And, there are ways for employers to get around privacy settings.
Walking the fine line between acceptable content and content that shades your reputation requires organization. Using social media websites to advertise your skills and experience to potential employers works, but maintaining a constant positive flow requires a long attention span.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) professionals at reputation.com help keep your social and public webpages up-to-date and ready for employment screening. They have the resources to search deeper into the Internet and use services not always available to private parties.
They keep you aware of how and where your name appears on the Internet and they know the steps to take to keep negative webpages buried in the search results while raising the visibility of the positive posts, blogs and comments.
Check your online reputation often and seek professional help when needed. A bad reputation keeps opportunity from knocking and infects other parts of life. Do not allow your reputation to suffer or stop you from getting the job you want.
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