If you are one of the millions of Americans searching for a job currently, you may have several things to consider at this moment. Updating your résumé, honing your interview skills, and gaining new skills are among the top things you may be working on. If you maintain any social media accounts, you should also add managing your online reputation to your “To-Do” list.
Do you have questionable Tweets, posts, or images on your social media accounts? Is your LinkedIn profile lacking connections to main players in the industry in which you are seeking employment? These things have the capability to derail your job search process, or at the very least, make for some awkward questions during the interview process.
What is Online Reputation Management?
According to Reputation Defender, reputation management is, “how others see you when they look for you online.” Online reputation management (ORM) means taking control of the online conversation about you that an employer could view. This strategy ensures that people find the right materials when they look for you on the Internet. The overall purpose of online reputation management is to create balance, counteract misleading trends, and allow you to put your best foot forward in the eyes of a potential employer.
Online Management Tips for Job Seekers
Since most employers and human resource specialists will analyze your social media presence before offering a candidate a job, it is important to take a few steps to ensure that your reputation is a positive one before you apply. Here are a few ideas of how you can improve your online status.
#1 Be Careful What You Share Online
In this world of “retweeting” and sharing of posts, it is far too easy to post something that may be from a questionable source. Be very careful about the images and content you are putting on your personal pages. Make sure your content is above board, which means watch your language as well as the images that include you. Are you behaving wildly or in a way that is counter to the culture or behavioral standards of the company you are applying?
#2 Hide Personal Information
Far too many people have very personal information on their social media pages. Remove your birth date, address, and phone number from any of your profiles. While it may not be legal for an employer to judge you on your age, race, or a litany of other factors, it can happen when you have too much personal information on your pages.
#3 Make Sure You Have a Reputation
Some candidates wash their social media pages when they start sending out applications. Be sure not to eliminate your online life entirely, however. According to a 2018 survey of hiring managers and human resources managers by CareerBuilder, a job seeker who has no online visibility is handicapped in their job search. Nearly half of employers (47%) say that if they cannot find examples of a job candidate’s personality and work online, they are less likely to call that person in for an interview.
#4 Google Yourself
We suggest that anyone who is job hunting “Google” themselves to see exactly what comes up in the results. Are you featured in any newspapers, articles, or headlines for your contributions to the community? Have you made the police logs?
Once you know what appears on page one of the search results, you can better manage your reputation by adding to your online presence. It will also help you answer any questions that may arise during the interview process.
For more resources on managing your online reputation during your job hunt, check out our resources pages at North Shore Career Center and MassHire North Shore.