While few job seekers would be the subject of TMZ or E!, candidates have similar reputation issues as celebrities. Candidates generally aren’t as careful as celebrities about keeping a clean image, and most candidates don’t have millions in hush money to keep personal dirt private.
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Four words describe the candidate’s dilemma: Google, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace
Candidates beware …Tiger-like surprises can show up unexpectedly if not managed carefully. Unless your name is incredibly unique, a Google search could list information relating to someone else who shares your name.
Before making a final offer, most HR departments and recruiters will do an online search of at least Google, and often Facebook (and Linkedin) to find additional background information on a candidate. Perhaps your “evil twin sister” was convicted of fraud, indecency or even publicly accused of something you wouldn’t want your next employer to even THINK could be you. Perhaps your “evil twin brother” posted some rude comments on Twitter (yes, Twitter posts now show up in Google searches – and Twitter posts CAN’T be erased).
Today’s candidate can gain huge benefits through visibility … if managed properly. This search can be a good thing – it gives candidates the chance to make online searches work in their favor, by managing favorable information that online searches reveal through a process called Online Reputation Management.
If you are carefully utilizing Online Reputation Management, you can make sure that favorable results appear under searches of your name. However, if you aren’t managing your online presence on Google, Facebook, and Twitter at a minimum, you are leaving your great new job up to chance, and risk unfavorably surprising your potential employer.
Some candidates react by hiding, hoping to erase any online presence. Hiding this strategy is counter-productive for candidates. Here are 5 reasons you WANT to be found by employers online:
- Being found online is a great way to find unadvertised job opportunities, because employers find you
- If your own information can’t be found online, you can’t manage damaging “evil twin” results
- If an employer can’t find any trace of you online, it raises suspicions
- Creating a favorable Online Reputation can add value to your unique skills
- Demonstrating a managed Online Reputation gives the impression of transparency, allowing your employer to see who you are as a person, so your online reputation acts as a character reference
How will you plan your Online Reputation Management strategy for your 2010 job search? Or will you fall into a Tiger trap?
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