Online reputation management (ORM) is the practice of crafting strategies that shape or influence the public perception of an organization, individual or other entity on the Internet. It helps drive public opinion about a business and its products and services. Online reputation management is a growing field, one that is tightly related to search optimization engine (SEO). In both cases the tactics tend to be the same, requiring you to monitor and act on search results to improve your online standing. With SEO, the goal is to make your website rise to the top while with ORM, you want to ensure that positive information and commentary about you or your business ranks higher than anything negative no matter who said it rather than being necessarily concerned about helping your own website rank highly in search results.
As a job seeker, when it comes to managing your reputation what’s the difference between your professional and social profile? For those hiring (whether agencies or direct employers) there is no real difference and both are right for the plucking and a very valid way to accept or reject a potential hire. Job seekers sometimes make questionable choices when it comes to using social networks. Posting party photos, questionable laughing, or simply sharing inappropriate behaviour may seem harmless at the time, but they say a lot about a potential hire’s character. What a person does online, even if it seems innocent enough, can come back to harm him/her when it’s time to look for a job. Businesses can and do check online reputations.
Why you need an online reputation?
If your online activity is limited and you don’t come up in any search you are missing a key opportunity to promote yourself to potential employers. By actively managing your online reputation this presents an opportunity to reinforce your application and position yourself as an industry professional they need to hire. A professional LinkedIn profile and relevant comments on industry forums will also demonstrate that you are online savvy and are actively contributing to the industry. With a careful constructed online reputation it is possible to highlight your key skills and achievements and to build a strong reputation that will make you stand out from other applicants. While actively monitoring your online reputation ensures it remains positive, the benefits of creating an active online personal brand is greater than the potential risks.
With this five online reputation guide posts, you can evaluate how you are viewed online as a potential hire:
- Type your name (in its various forms) into more than one search engine and see what results you find. Read about yourself and the kinds of images attached to your name. Do you appear to be a positive or negative person based on your social media comments? Are you helpful to others, or hurtful to others in your posts.
- Google-Alert your name so that you can be emailed about others who are writing about you or using your image via the Internet. While you may think that certain things are in your control because you authored them, others can forward them to others without your knowledge.
- Mention your personal values and beliefs in a way that uplifts others without insulting or offending those who see things differently. It is important to avoid cyber-bullying as a job seeker.
- Be the “authentic you” rather than an impostor. If you pretend to be who you are not, interviewers are very good at probing to see who is really there.
- Healthy debates are welcomed; but if your online postings ignite agitation and aggression in others, your potential new boss can discern between the playing as the devil’s advocate and unnecessarily causing anxieties.
In conclusion, with recruiters paying closer attention to job seekers’ media profiles, it is imperative to maintain control of your online social presence as these profiles are an extension of your resume and should be used to help and not hurt your chances of landing the next golden job opportunity as a potential hire.