It is estimated that over a quarter of HR professionals have rejected an applicant on the basis of what has appeared online. Have you a facebook or Twitter account? The internet has a long memory and information can stay available for a long time for all to see. To make sure that you don’t fall into trap of the ‘World Wide Web’ - here are Pure’s top tips to ensure you make the most of your online reputation.
Check what’s out there. Regularly Google yourself and search your name on websites like pipl.com to check what has been published about you online.
Check privacy settings. All social networking accounts have privacy settings to allow you to restrict and choose who sees what - make sure you understand and use them. You don’t want your prospective employer to know too much about your family and friends. Alternatively set up 2 accounts, one for your business profile and one your social life.
Use it to your advantage. Used correctly online social media can be incredibly effective for networking and building your online brand. Find out the relevant blogs and websites for your area and discipline and ensure you contribute helpful information and insightful articles, become connected to influential people and post information on successful projects and achievements – create a voice of authority and positive impression. Join business sites such as LinkedIn or Business Scene and start building your network.
Create your own website. Your own site give you control over what people can see when they google you, especially if you are able to optimise the site to ensure it’s the first thing that comes up on a search. It shows a prospective employer or client that you are taking a proactive role online and can help distinguish you from the competition.
Moderate new content. Take care with status posts – if you wouldn’t want a colleague to overhear you say it then don’t post it on the web. A remark about a bad day or a difficult client could come back to haunt you.
Be careful when you do it. Often your comment on a networking site will include a time and date and if recorded during your working hours this may not give the best impression of the hard work you do.
Think about who might be trying to find out more. Remember, it’s not just potential employers who could be using search engines to find out information about you – it may also be potential clients. So even if you are not looking for a new position, it’s worth reviewing your internet presence.
We have noticed a lot of clients actively researching their candidates online before interviews to get some background information – a recent survey to clients confirmed 88% of clients and candidates search online for more information about a prospective candidate or role. As this activity becomes more and more common in the recruitment process it’s really important that candidates put as much effort into managing their online profile as they would for other aspects of their job searching. Such as preparing for an interview or creating a CV.