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January 18, 2013
Is Your Online Reputation Giving You the Business?
 
Whether you already have the job you desire or find yourself searching for a new one, your online reputation can say a lot about you. In fact, it can also influence whether or not you get the job in the first place.
 
You may be thinking that what you say or project on social network, online forums, and other Internet venues means little, but you may soon discover that it cost you that job you wanted.
 
According to a 2012 CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource pros, 37 percent of employers said they were turning to social networking sites to research job seekers’ every online visit. Keep in mind, however, that why they are conducting such reviews can be varied.
 
That being said, are you willing to take your chances with a questionable post that could end up seeing your application and resume go to the round file?
 
In the event you are job hunting in 2013, keep a few things in mind:
 
Social footprints. Even the most innocent of shares, tweets, and pins can be misconstrued by others, meaning you may not get the benefit of the doubt. For example, say you post a picture of a weekend party that you and some friends attended, albeit a party that got a little wild. While it may seem innocent to you, a prospective employer may think otherwise. In their mind, you may have used some bad judgment in posting the photo for all the world to see. So, could such bad judgment at a weekend party lead to bad judgment on a decision in the office involving a project and/or client? It may seem like a stretch to you, but that employer may think otherwise.
 
Don’t dig up the past. In the event you and a former boss or coworker had a run-in or two, don’t turn to Facebook or Twitter to shout it out to the world. A prospective employer perusing your social media pages sees any negative comments towards former bosses and coworkers as a red flag. You may have the best resume sitting on his or her desk, but that one post about your past could send you packing before you even receive an interview. Why? The bottom line is many employers are concerned about their office culture, so that share or tweet you sent out tells them you may not be a good fit for their company, potentially damaging office morale.
 
Careful who you befriend online. While you have every right to follow or befriend various folks and groups on sites such as Twitter and Facebook, some choices may raise the eyebrows of prospective employers. If you are following or sharing time talking with people who lead questionable lifestyles, an employer may wonder whether or not you endorse such activities. Yes, what you do outside of your job should not matter as long as it is within the confines of the law, but that still may not be enough to sway things in your favor when an employer is rifling through resumes. If a site or person seems questionable in your mind to follow or befriend, fall in on the side of caution.
 
Don’t be a stranger. Finally, keep in mind that there are various online services out there that pull and publish your personal data. As a result, you need to periodically Google your name to see what is being said about you online. You could find personal information such as where you have worked, past legal issues, divorce settlements, and more online. While just about everyone has a few skeletons in their closet, you don’t want sensitive or even inaccurate data getting out there, information that could turn a prospective employer against you.
 
Utilizing all the opportunities that are available online is fine.
 
It is when you misuse or fall asleep online that you could find yourself on the outside looking in at that desired job.

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