Manage Your Online Reputation Now
The media abounds with cautionary tales of bright, promising candidates losing out on jobs due to Facebook pictures of high spirited nights out or ‘sick’ employees being fired due to careless Tweets or Facebook updates.
A career coach at Monster, comments: “It has become an accepted norm for recruiters to use social media as part of screening candidates. However, this can work in your favour as long as you know how to manage your reputation effectively. Too many scare stories have made many people reticent to get properly involved but becoming part of the dialogue in your particular industry can get you noticed – for all the right reasons.”
For professionals looking to manage their online reputation, Monster has the following tips:
- Acquaint yourself with the privacy settings in your social media channel of choice – it’s usually quick and easy to select what you’re comfortable with employers seeing.
- Be judicious in choosing ‘friends’ – do you really want a head-hunter or your MD accessing your Ibiza holiday snaps?
- Think laterally and be proactive. It’s important to remember that social media isn’t inherently ‘bad’ or ‘dangerous’ for your work image. Be creative in how you use them – they can further your career. One example of this is creating your own blog talking about your chosen industry. You can search for related blogs and link to them as well as making thoughtful comments on well established blogs. This is a highly effective way to show that you are in touch with issues and are connected with key people in your industry. You can set up a blog for free using platforms like Posterous. You can easily find other blogs to link to through Google Blogs.
- Be proactive about your social media presence when job seeking. Don’t wait for them to check up on you to find the great connections you have. If you write a blog relating to your industry or have a LinkedIn profile featuring glowing recommendations and a great virtual ‘black book’ then consider adding those as hyperlinks in your digital CV.
- It works both ways. Don’t forget that social media can also provide you with valuable insight into a prospective employer. A quick scan of brand and relevant personal profiles might lead you to discover something useful for an application or interview.
- Don’t write off social media as a valuable networking tool. There are groups now for just about every industry sector – obviously some are more useful than others but social media has come a long way from just serving as a means to spy on ex-flames or to show off your holiday photos.