Introduction

Your internet presence or persona can dramatically affect your job search and the ultimate goal of obtaining employment. Many employers (often before meeting you) will enter a candidate’s name into the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and/or MSN. The impression they derive from your internet persona can be a deal breaker before you even have a chance to meet your prospective employer.

If the search result comes up with some negative comments, the employer might take a pass on your candidacy. Examples include putting inappropriate comments and/or pictures of yourself on the web.

The purpose of this post will be to share with the reader important guidelines regarding how to handle your online reputation. Remember, maintaining and promoting a good online reputation is directly  related to your personal development.

But before we go any further, let us define the meaning of reputation management.

Definition

Wikipedia defines reputation management as follows: “Reputation Management is the understanding or influencing of an individual’s or business’s reputation.It was originally coined as a public relations term, but advancement in computing, the internet and social media made it primarily an issue of search results.”

Online Reputation Guidelines For An Individual

When an individual goes online for the first time, they must be very careful what information they post and/or share with friends and family because once it goes online, it is very difficult to have the information removed.

In order to maintain and promote your online reputation, I would suggest you do the following:

  • Monitor your online reputation on a continuous basis. Put your name into Google and check what the results are. If your last name is a common name such as Smith, put in other distinguishing factors along with your name. This could include a hobby you are presently engaged in, the name of your business or your birthplace.The most important page to monitor on Google is page one as most people will read this page and not go further.

 

  • Use Google Alerts that brings back anything on the web with your name in it. Any mention of your name on the internet will be sent back to you. These notifications can be sent to you on a daily basis, so as not to inundate your inbox.

 

  • Purchase a domain name and create a blog. A blog will allow you to publish positive information about yourself and can address a specific niche that you know a lot about. One of the key reasons to have a blog is to become the authoritative source in a specific subject matter. If you receive any negative comments about yourself, you can continue to publish material from your blog that will bury this critical information.

 

  • Connect with the major social networks. Some networks such as LinkedIn are important to join from a job perspective. Writing a good professional profile of yourself is especially important when joining sites such as LinkedIn. Employers often search on people’s LinkedIn profiles to see if they want to pursue a candidate. Other major sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google+,Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube. When joining these sites, add new content at least once a month. Joining multiple major social media networks and posting valuable content on them on a regular basis can help offset and protect you from negative comments.

 

  • Link to all your social media sites. This will make your online presence stronger.

 

  • Be sure that your grammar, punctuation and spelling are excellent when writing your profile on social media sites. Employers have been known to pass over candidates whose writing is rife with grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors.

 

  • Place privacy settings on all content you want to share only with a specific group of friends and family. This is very important to protect yourself when sending out confidential information.

 

  • Employ the services of an online reputation management firm. These companies help to present you in the most positive light and preserve your reputation. Be sure to find out what these companies charge and what they tell you they can do in resolving your problem before signing up with them.

Summary

Some individuals are not careful with the information they put up on the internet.

Such things include inappropriate comments and/ or inappropriate pictures. This negative information may result in employers passing you over for a job.

This post provides guidelines on how you as an individual can sustain a good online reputation thus maximizing employment opportunities.

About the author: Bob

Bob is a businessman, athlete, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping people progress personally through better self-awareness.

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