If you’ve attended our workshop “Job Search 2.0: Managing your Online Presence”, then you know that social media and online reputation are becoming more and more a part of hiring practices. In fact, a nationwide survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com says that 45% of employers use social networking sites to research candidates. Clearly, there are both advantages and disadvantages to living in such an online world. A lot of personal information can be gathered with one click of a Google search button have you tried searching yourself lately?
I recently had the opportunity to discuss online reputation with Linda Le, Regional Talent Acquisition Manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Linda emphasized that having a positive online reputation was highly important, saying,
“your online reputation is a testament to your overall character”.
And, “even though you may not be interviewing today for a specific position, you should consider everyone/anyone who see’s you online as a potential networking contact for future opportunities”
So why not use social media to create a positive online reputation for yourself? HRMarketer.com found that LinkedIn is used by 93% of companies and Facebook is used by 70%. You can use these social networking sites to help an employer confirm that they want to hire you by conveying a professional image, showing that you have good communication skills and demonstrating that people have good opinions of you.
Just keep in mind that whatever you post online, regardless of the privacy settings, may become public. Linda warns,
“if you wanted anything to be “private”, don’t post it.
Assume that anything you post (under private or public settings) is fair game for anyone (professional, personal or even unfortunately, criminals).”
First opinions are quick to form and difficult to change. Hiring managers may be looking at your social networking profiles before they meet you personally. A last word from Linda: “It only takes 1 incident online or in person, for that matter to ruin one’s image of you…Particularly if you don’t have a personal relationship with them already.” So take advantage of social media and seize the opportunity to build a positive online reputation today.
Contribution by Megan Bradley, M.A.