Why #Jobseekers MUST Manage Their Online Reputation

Job seekers: how well do you manage your online reputation? Can you be found on the Internet? Do you have any digital dirt? Do you know what happens when you don't manage your online reputation? 

"What," you say, "is that all about?"

A few weeks ago I blogged about managing your online reputation. Reading today's issue of the "Executive Insider" published by ExecuNet, I knew I had to share its editor's related opening remarks with you.

Robyn Greenspan, ExecuNet's Editor-in-Chief, kindly granted permission for me to reprint her comments that discuss how critical your positive reputation is on the Internet. For anyone who doesn't know, ExecuNet is THE place for top executives to do networking with each other and top recruiters on the Web.

Here's what Robyn says about managing your "digital dirt" – a phrase she coined that is now widely used by many:

When ExecuNet began researching in 2005 how publicly available online information influenced executive hiring, three-quarters of the search firm recruiter respondents revealed they were already Googling candidates to find information beyond the résumé. As a result, more than one-quarter of recruiters had eliminated a candidate because of what they found online.

We've (ExecuNet) continued to monitor this trend, developing a series of reports on Digital Dirt that raised awareness of online reputation management, and our 2010 data casts no doubt that recruiters have fully adopted Googling as a best practice with 90% regularly conducting this activity. Forty-six percent uncovered digital deal-breakers, such as ethics violations, falsified employment history and felony convictions, which lead to eliminating candidates from consideration.

The younger generations — digital natives — who largely live online have to make efforts to separate themselves from their less-professional identities when they enter the workforce, but for successfully established executives, they'll have to work to become visible and distinguish themselves. In our most recent research, 80% of executive recruiters said a candidate's job prospects improve when positive information is found online.

With this research in mind, take some time to:

  • Find what's online about you.
  • Work to correct/eradicate anything that doesn't reflect your name well.
  • Develop a plan to establish visibility, both on the Internet at-large and niche communities where your peers dwell.

Robyn Greenspan
twitter.com/RobynGreenspan

Thanks, Robyn, for shedding a spotlight on this most important topic for all job seekers.

Bottom line: the Internet is operating in full force, whether you want to participate or not. It's up to each and every individual to take as much care with managing their online reputation as with managing their credit history and personal identity. By adopting a strong defense you can improve your game offense to enhance your opportunity to get that job your deserve!

Wishng you career success in 2010!

Meg

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