Your Online Reputation– It’s Important!

Posted: June 17, 2008 in Misc., Organizational Behavior
Tags: , , ,

For Organizataion l Behavior this week we took a look at the Harvard Business Reviews Cast Study entited “We Googled You“. This case was about an employer using information obtained about a prospective employee off-line from sites such as Facebook, Blogs etc. to determine whether to hire them or not. A recent survey showed that 77% of executive recruiters searched online for information about potential hires. Heres a little of my analysis on the case (not all as most of it dealt with this specific case and that in todays world it is almost impossible for something not to appear online not in your best ineterest) however, here is my main idea about the whole topic.

I believe that learning to manage your online presence is becoming an extremely important and vital skill for anyone entering today’s workforce. Obviously everything you put on the internet can be found by potential employers, in-laws and friends. I’m sure no avid partier wants pictures of them drunk and dancing half naked on top of a bar from their college days on the internet that a future boss…. Or even worse In-Laws would find! In my opinion, and in my actions, your online presence should formulate basically an online “resume” where employers can find out more information than you can give them in just a one page resume. My blog is where I am able to express my views on subjects and topics that might relate to a future job, talk about my accomplishments and positions as well as demonstrate the type of social person I am… this makes it easy for any future employer to google me and find a plethora of information that would not otherwise be available to them even in intense interviews!

So how do we manage our online presence? It’s not as easy as you may thing in today’s internet world! Anyone you know (or for that matter don’t know) can snap a picture of you and put it online or write a post about you or something you have done. In fact there are websites dedicated to helping you manage your online identity. From ReputationDefender.com, which for ten dollars a month will scavenge the internet for not so flattering information about you and try to destroy it to sites like ClaimID which lets you create an online profile of information available about you so you can be more selective.

  • The first and most obvious (and free) way to manage this is to be smart! Pictures may be fun now to freely throw around the internet for your friends to see and comment about… but would you want your future boss to see pictures of you in.. let’s just say.. not so professional states of behavior?
  • Another way is through your email addresses and screen names. Just imagine this conversation.. Potential Employer- “We would love to send you some documents about working with us, what’s your email?” You- Awkward Silence… “um.. hatework_lovesleep@mail.com”
  • Hold back your momentary bursts of anger on blogs, posts, social groups etc.—For instance if you’re applying for a guest relations job and your employer find posts you wrote one day that you hate people, hate working with them and think all customers are ignorant…. Well they don’t know what context you wrote that in so they are free to perceive it in MANY different and mostly unfortunate ways.
  • Don’t trash talk former employees or co-workers. Imagine you’re employer finding a post where you completely trash your former workplace. “That place was horrible! Who would want to work there?”
  • Make your Facebook, Myspace etc. profiles Private (obvious for many other reasons as well)
  • Don’t write anything on someone else’s “wall” that may come back to bite you!
  • Google Yourself Often to see exactly what does come up about you
  • And mostly think of your virtual profile as a PR tool. Use it to show your creativity, accomplishments etc.
  • Go ahead and Remove any embarrassing photos or posts from your social sites.. They won’t help you!

So those are my thoughts on the subject… There are MANY more like starting websites and blogs that promote all your qualities. Be active about it, don’t just sit there and let things accumulate online that may come back to haunt you in the future!

Articles USA Today- Do you need a Web Publicist?

Manage Your Online Reputation

How to Manage Your Online Reputation

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