Online Reputation Management gives you the chance to gain an unfair advantage in your job search, by making it easier for you to be found. However, if not managed, your online reputation could deliver damage to your job search.
Online Reputation Management has two parts:
Managing Content: Much press has been made out of companies starting to check job seeker’s profiles on social networks. How could this be damaging? These tips aren’t meant to suggest you don’t use online services, just that you make sure to review what is publicly visible. Google searches can turn all of this up:
- Inconsistency: Your profile could be inconsistent with your resume. Change your resume –> Change your profiles.
- Unprofessional Content: Your profile could show unprofessional content – This is more relevant for FaceBook and MySpace accounts, where friends can tag you to pictures, and can post things to your landing page. Make sure you set your defaults so you approve everything that goes to your account. On Facebook, check all your walls and pictures daily.
- Social Network Dating: Your dating history can show up on FaceBook or MySpace. If you use either of these networks to date, make sure to hide these from your landing page, so more conservative employers don’t have any reason to be concerned that you are a fan of popular porn stars on MySpace.
- Online Dating: If you use online dating services, your profile can turn up, if you disclose your real name or even the same email address as you use for your job search or social networking. So use a pen name and a “pen email”, and keep your private life separate from your job search.
- Online Photos: Your online photo album can show up in a search. Normally, this shouldn’t be a problem, unless you’ve joined groups that you might not want employers to see. Again, keep your private life private.
- Rants: That blog or forum you blasted shows up on Google searches. Will your comments be favorable if reviewed by a potential employer?
Maximizing Effect: Online Reputation Management can amplify your exposure, and help your recognition as a Subject Matter Expert
- Search Engine Ranking: Posting comments, blogs, and social network activity all increase your Google & Yahoo Search engine ranking. My name, Phil Rosenberg is more common than you’d think. I’ve heard of 6 in Chicago alone, and there are hundreds nationally. Social networking helped launch me personally from page 15 on Google last year to #1 on Google and top 4 on Yahoo (depends on the day), via my LinkedIN and FaceBook profiles.
- Promoting your Subject Matter Expertise: Getting highly ranked on Google and Yahoo are the easiest ways to promote your Subject Matter Expertise, and to show potential employers that you have solved their unique problem. Top consultants use this technique to keep their project pipeline full.
- LinkedIN and FaceBook profiles are just the first step: Putting up a profile gets you online, not found. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques on your profile gets it highly ranked.
So how do you monitor your online reputation? Search for your name with Google & Yahoo – This is a requirement of many employers, prior to placing full time staff. When I was with Robert Half, it was a requirement to do a 6 combination search of a potential full time placement before start date. Why? Basic due diligence, instituted after MSNBC reported that a competitor placed a consultant awaiting sentencing for pension fraud, at another pension client … discovered by an employee Googling the consultant.
In addition, Personal Content Aggregators, like ZoomInfo, Spoke, and Jigsaw crawl the web for information and references to business professionals. Look yourself up, and follow the links, so you know what employers see.
It’s your choice…Managed well, your online reputation can give you an unfair advantage over other job seekers. Left to run amok, your Online Reputation could kill your chances for a great job.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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