Whether you like it or not, your online persona is also your professional persona -- are you OK with that?
You might want to de-tag that keg stand photo, take down the "I'm so bored -- is it 5:00 yet" tweet, and carefully edit your college blog posts. Oh, and just because we're not "friends" on Facebook, doesn't mean I'm not going to see those photos and posts! Politics is a small world and I'm friends with your friends.
Here are some tips from 6FigureJobs:
A candidate’s online reputation plays a vital role when being considered for a new job opportunity. Studies show that 80% of employers and executive recruiters will search a candidate’s online reputation before contacting them for an interview. Any active or passive job seeker should be aware of their online reputation before they hit the job market.
In July 2010, 6FigureJobs conducted a survey to its community of $100K executive and senior-level job seekers. The survey showed that 60% of candidates are already monitoring their reputation online and of those people 29% consider themselves "very involved” in managing their online reputation. The poll also showed that 28% do not manage their online reputation because they do not know how or believe it to be of no use, feeling they can not control what the Web publishes.
For the 12% who say they do not know what an online reputation is…start with these 3 basic steps.
1. Search – Run a search for your name in all the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!). Review the results in detail. You may find many positive results or you may be surprised at some of the negative, "digital dirt” that it associated with your name. Know what’s out there because this is your online reputation and it is how people will perceive you.
2. Monitor – You can create email alerts for your name through the search engines. Google Alerts does a good job of this. They will send you an email with the latest information posted to the Internet that is associated with your name. This will help you monitor any new content that gets published on the Web that is associated with your name.
3. Take Action – Build on the positive information through professional online profiles, personal websites, publications and discussion boards. Negative results can be difficult to combat so if you find a significant amount of negative results, contact a professional service such as Climber or Reputation Defender.
In conclusion, it is important to stay on top of your online reputation. Your candidacy for a new career role is an online and offline process so keep in mind that you may be judged before you even step into an interview.