Google Yourself: Your Online Reputation Matters
Joan Jett might not give a darn about her bad reputation, but you should. You might think Googling yourself is vain, but in today’s world knowing your online reputation is important. According to ExecutNet, in a survey of 100 executive recruiters, 77% check out candidates' online presence and 35% have eliminated candidates based on their findings
. While there may be some legal implications for employers looking at your profile, it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it. Whether you’re looking for a new role, or up for a promotion, taking ownership of your online reputation is a good idea no matter where you are in your career.
A Bad Reputation
Do you have a photo of you on Facebook having had too much to drink, or a complaint about your current company or boss on your Twitter account? Can a potential employer find it? There are several resources for reviewing your privacy settings and cleaning up your social media
, but the best policy is to just keep it clean in the first place. With social media platforms constantly changing their privacy policies, that thing you thought you’d hidden, could become visible again, and you certainly don’t want a potential employer finding it. So, Google yourself regularly (and search Yahoo and Bing too), and keep it clean.
Almost as bad as having a bad a reputation, is having no online reputation at all. In this social-driven culture, you want potential employers to be able to find the real you and see your professional chops. Is at least one of your top few search results professional in some way? Think of your online presence as an extension of your resume. You may not need or want to show your presence on all social media platforms, but an absolute must for any IT professional is LinkedIn. If you want to get hired, you need to be findable, and recruiters and hiring managers are finding candidates on LinkedIn.
Creating a Good Reputation
In a recent article from MPRnews
, information technology was singled out as one field that cannot be ‘walled off from social media’ because most of these candidates are not looking for new jobs. Since many employers and recruiters may be using this for seeking out versus weeding out, create a good reputation so that you’re identified as a strong candidate:
Keep it clean, non-discriminatory, and professional. Think about the comments and articles you post on your platforms and make sure there is nothing that offends in them.
Write articles or answer questions on forums that demonstrate your expertise.
Seek out recommendations on LinkedIn, and if you also give them, make sure those reflect well on you.
Don’t be lazy. Post or engage regularly and appropriately.
Post positive. No one likes a whiner, in an interview or online. Try to refrain from making complaints associated with your name. Even if it is justified, you don’t want that to be someone’s first perception of you.
While employers probably shouldn’t be using social media to discriminate against candidates when deciding who to interview, it’s pretty hard for you to prove they’ve done it. So for now at least, play the game, and start giving a darn about your online reputation.
ESP 2013 Salary Survey
Each year we monitor and analyze hiring trends, including compensation and benefits, in order to best serve our candidates. Our annual salary survey presents data compiled from ESP’s recent placements, as well as national and local research.
Check out the 2013 salary survey
and see the median low, median, and median high salary rates for your position.
Scholarship Makes the Dream of College Reality
ESP is proud to have made a donation to Saint Mary's University of Minnesota for their First-Generation Initiative
and Countdown to College Program. These programs were created by the university to "ensure academic success for high-need, high-potential, first-generation students from partner Lasallian and Jesuit schools from middle school through college graduation". The programs aim to help these students not only attend college, but to complete their degree in four years. Up to 15 scholarship grants of $35,000 will be awarded each year with a total of 60 scholars in the program at full capacity. The four-year scholarship package provides each student with tuition, room and board, books, a computer, spending money, and one semester of study abroad.
Countdown to College is a four-year summer academic boot camp designed for graduates of Saint Mary’s middle school partners that serve low income, high-potential Latino, Native American, and African-American students.
Bob Hildreth, President and CEO of ESP, was approached as an alumnus of St. Mary's and is pleased to partner with the university in giving these students this opportunity, not only for a college education, but to break the cycle of economic limitations.
Read the stories of the First Generation Initiative
and learn more about the programs