The Internet is becoming an important component to the careers of every American worker. While at times the Internet can be convenient, one mishandled tweet, misguided blog post, thoughtless Facebook comment or photo, or ill-judged email can have disastrous affects on your career. Protecting you online reputation during the hiring process is crucial
It’s reported that 78 percent of recruiters and hiring managers use search engines to research and screen potential job candidates. This is unfortunate considering the results of a survey commissioned by Microsoft. It was found that 56 percent of surveyed adults don’t actively think about the consequences of their online activities and 14 percent have experienced negative consequences (like being fired or losing out on a job opportunity) due to online activities.
With a national unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, there’s still a lot at stake for American workers, so a negative online reputation is something that no one is willing to risk. Unfortunately, your online reputation can be ruined by numerous mistakes. Posting scandalous pictures and using unprofessional email addresses are common mistakes. Another popular blunder is having an unprofessional manner online like posting grammar or spelling errors, rants about employers or employees, or inappropriate language.
Here are five suggestions to protect your online reputation:
Research your online reputation
You need to be aware of all the good and bad information there is about you currently on the Internet. Try to Google yourself and see what the search provides. Consider setting up a Google alert for yourself. You’ll immediately learn about new information that could affect your online reputation.
Make positive online associations
When it comes to the job market the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is remarkably accurate. So, through your social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn be sure to network with professional groups in your career field or with charities you support. Also beware of associating with controversial organizations and people online.
Keep it professional and not too personal
Separating your private life from your professional career can be tough on the Internet, but it’s important. Consider using different email address or screen names to separate your two lives.
Check for privacy
Check the privacy policies on the websites and the social media platforms that you use. To protect your reputation consider stricter privacy settings for your online accounts and more professional information in your profile.
Think before you type or post
It’s a basic rule that’s not always practiced on the Internet. Before you click “post” or press “enter,” ask yourself what kind of impression this information will make on your boss or future employers. Beware of your grammar, the language you use, and sensitive talking points.