Your online reputation can hurt your job search

One of the more interesting realities of the Internet era is that people often have their entire lives up for public display on the world wide web, for just about anyone to see, and that very few of them actually realize it. Many social media users might shudder to learn the extent to which their personal information is visible online — if someone’s plugged in enough, there’s no telling how much knowledge one might glean about their certain tastes, preferences, interests, behaviors, and even favorite locations. A lot of information is available online, and if you’re looking for a serious job then you’ve more than likely heard about the ways that companies are using social media to unofficially “vet” their potential employees before hiring them. In the last several years, if you’ve sat on the other side of the desk at a job interview, you’ve most likely had your social media profiles checked out by those who were considering hiring you. It’s not entirely too hard to understand why this strategy might be popular — many teens and young adults consider their online personas to be something that only they and their friends experience. Pictures, posts, and other content that’s shared online are rarely sent out with the consideration of how they might be seen by someone like a boss or teacher. Bosses, however, are checking out your Facebook and Twitter profiles more and more, and as such a way to maintain and monitor one’s online presence has become something of a necessity.

Especially if you’re looking for a new job in today’s competitive market, you want to make sure that your online presence is only doing good things for you and your work. It’s not good to be sitting down for an interview after which your potential employer hops online to immediately find pictures of you chugging beers at the most recent party you attended. Actively monitor your social media feeds, making sure that the way you represent yourself is upstanding and respectable. The level to which you have to do this, of course, depends on the industry in which you’re looking to work. A writer or artist has to be a lot less careful about something like this than a schoolteacher would.

If your online reputation is plagued by something like bad feedback or ill will that someone might have harbored against you a long time ago, then there are measures you can take to clean up the way you’re represented on the Internet. Sites and services like reputation.com are great for helping to make sure that indiviudals and companies look decent online, and if you are afraid that your reputation might be impacting your career, then a service like this might not be a bad idea. There are a ton of ways to make sure you don’t look bad on the Internet so that you can get that awesome job and move on with your career.


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Jenni Proctor

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